All over 50s can now get the flu jab for free - how to arrange yours

Those aged between 50 and 64 will be eligible to get the flu vaccination for free this winter.

This age group is being added to the eligibility list in England - alongside people who can already get it for free, such as those with certain medical conditions - as part of an extended winter flu vaccination scheme.

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‘More important than ever’ to get a flu jab

People aged 50 to 64 will be able to get a free flu jab from 1 December, from their GP or local pharmacy.

This year, 30 million people are being offered the vaccine, as part of England's largest flu immunisation programme yet. Those eligible are being urged to get vaccinated this year, as the country contends with both the flu and Covid-19.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, "We have to worry about the twin threats of flu and Covid-19," stressing that it was "more important than ever" for people to get their flu jabs.

England's Deputy Chief Medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, reiterated this, urging those eligible for the flu vaccine "to book their appointments as soon as they can.”

Where can I get the flu vaccine?

You can have your NHS flu vaccine administered at:

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your GP surgerya local pharmacy offering the serviceyour midwifery service if they offer it for pregnant women

Some community pharmacies now offer flu vaccination to adults (but not children) at risk from flu, including pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, people with long-term health conditions and carers.

If you have your flu vaccine at a pharmacy, you do not have to inform a GP, it’s up to the pharmacist to do that.

How can I book a flu jab?

To book your NHS flu jab you can ring your doctor’s surgery to be booked in for an appointment.

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Those who are eligible for a flu jab on the NHS may receive a letter or a phone call to remind them to book in for their flu jab.

Alternatively, you can book your flu jab at your local pharmacy or some may offer walk-in appointments.

Who is eligible for the flu jab?

If suitable, anyone can get the flu jab, but some may have to pay to get it privately, whereas people of a certain age, those with certain medical conditions, and frontline or social care workers are offered it for free on the NHS.

Alongside those aged 50 to 64, the flu vaccine is also being offered on the NHS to:

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adults 65 and overpeople with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)pregnant womenpeople living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020children in primary schoolchildren in year 7 (secondary school)frontline health or social care workers