Home Health Protect yourself and your family from flu
A speech bubble asks: 'Just' the flu? Underneath it says "the flu virus kills thousands every year. Just get your free flu jab."

Protect yourself and your family from flu

by Cathy Sheel

If you’re eligible, make sure you’ve had your free flu vaccination. It’s the best way to protect you and your family from flu.

On an average year the flu virus kills 11,000 people and hospitalises many thousands more. This year having a flu vaccination is more important than ever as flu and COVID-19 will be circulated at the same time.

Free flu vaccinations are offered to:-

  • Two and three year old children and under-16s in ‘at risk’ groups.
  • All primary school children in reception class, as well as Year 7 high school pupils.
  • Residents aged 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • Residents with long-term medical conditions along with people living in the same household
  • People living in long stay residential care homes
  • People who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance
  • Residents who are the main carer of an older or disabled person
  • Carers directly employed by families using Direct Payments
  • Those aged 50-64 later in the flu season, depending on availability

GP practices will still be delivering the annual flu vaccination this year, however because of the pressures created by the COVID-19 pandemic, they may need to be provided in a different way. Please contact your GP for more information.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “This year we’re reminded of the seriousness of flu – it kills and hospitalises thousands of people each year.

“For the majority of people, flu is an unpleasant, but not life-threatening illness. However, it can be very serious for older people and those groups at risk of developing complications.

“Getting your flu jab is the best way to protect against the potential serious harm from flu, plus for many residents, it’s free. Don’t wait until there’s a flu outbreak this winter and remember even if you had a vaccination last winter you need another one this year to stay safe from flu.”

Dr Paul Conway, GP in Knowsley and Flu Vaccination Clinical Lead said: “GP practices will still run flu vaccination clinics this year however, in order to ensure the services meet social distancing and infection prevention and control requirements you may be asked to attend a different site so that we can ensure patients and staff are safe.

“Your practice will contact you as usual and explain any changes when you book your appointment. I urge you to get a flu jab if you are eligible as this year it is more important than ever”.

Who are the ‘at risk’ groups

At Risk groups include people with a serious medical condition such as:-

  •               Long term severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
  •               Long-term heart disease, such as heart failure
  •               Long term kidney disease and liver disease
  •               Long term neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
  •               Diabetes
  •               A weakened immune system due to disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS) or treatment (e.g. cancer treatment) &                            their household contacts
  •               morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above)

For more information about flu visit the NHS choices website  

You can find Easy Read flu vaccination materials on the government website.