Who is eligible for the free flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to the following groups:
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 – born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
- all primary school children (reception to year 6)
- all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
- children aged 6 months to 17 years with long-term health conditions
- adults aged 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
- those with certain health conditions (at risk groups)
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live in household with someone who is immunocompromised/asked to shield/clinically vulnerable
- frontline health or social care workers
See below for the full list of the health conditions (At Risk) eligible for the free flu vaccination on the NHS this year (2021/2022);
What exactly are the eligible at risk groups/health conditions?
At Risk Categories: Patients aged from 6 months to less than 50 years of age with a serious medical condition such as:
- respiratory conditions, such as asthma (needing steroid inhaler or tablets), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and bronchitis
- heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease or heart failure
- being very overweight – a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above
- chronic kidney disease
- liver disease, such as hepatitis
- neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
- a learning disability
- problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. We will offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get flu.
Will you let me know if I am eligible?
We will NOT be sending out letters to patients to help minimise waste and the impact on our environment; it also helps to reduce administration at the practice. You may receive a personalised text message on your mobile phone promoting the clinic.
If your contact details have changed in the last year please update us so that you can take advantage of this service.
What about my one year old child, do they qualify?
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under the age of two. Some children over the age of two who are in a high-risk group will also need to have an injected vaccine if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.
How do I book?
NB Appointments will be released regularly, do keep checking
If you are eligible:
The preferred option is using Online Access (e.g. NHS App or Patient Access) –
If you have signed up to this service please book online – please note the appointment time is not exact as we are trying to limit the numbers of people arriving at one time. Please complete the reason for your eligibility when making your booking. We will be contacting patients that have booked in error.
Please telephone Reception any week day from 1st September onwards to book your flu vaccination on 01344 20 80 60 – please try after 12pm when the phone lines are quieter.
Why do I need to book an appointment?
In order to maintain a covid safe environment for our clinics, we are asking patients to book in advance so we can manage the flow through the building.
Why do I need to wear a mask?
Face coverings are essential to protect our staff and our patients.
In July 2021 Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May said: “Face coverings and social distancing measures will remain in place across healthcare settings so that the most vulnerable people can continue to safely attend hospital, their GP surgery, pharmacy or any other healthcare settings for advice, care and treatment.
“And it is important for the public to continue to play their part when visiting NHS and care settings to help protect our staff and patients, particularly those who may be more vulnerable to infections.
How do I decline?
If you already know that you don’t want a flu vaccine at all please tell us. You can send an email to decline if that’s easier so that your vaccine can be offered to someone else who needs it: This year more than ever, this is very important as vaccines supplies are expected to be in extremely high demand. Email: email@example.com
If you change your mind later in the year, you are welcome to ask for the vaccine, but we cannot guarantee to still have supplies.
Can I have my flu vaccine when I am coming to the surgery for another medical reason?
Yes, but only if you have an appointment and time allows on the day. If an eligible patient is already coming in for a face to face appointment with a clinician a flu vaccine can potentially be given if time allows on the day.
What are the side effects from the flu vaccine?
Please see this website for the most up to date information regarding side effects: www.nhs.uk/flu-vaccine-side-effects
Why should I come to Ringmead for my vaccine?
The surgery purchases flu vaccines on your behalf so please have your vaccine with us. Every year NHS England sets public health targets for flu vaccinations for at risk groups and each year Ringmead Medical Practice commits itself to the health and well-being of every one of our patients. Part of this commitment is that your practice pays upfront to ensure all of our at risk patients has a vaccination available to them at the practice; which involves a financial risk to us as we are only reimbursed for the cost of vaccinations actually administered.
Whilst we will always remain advocates for you and your autonomy is paramount to us, we ask that you consider supporting your practice and the investment we’ve made in your health & wellbeing when considering who you chose to receive your vaccination at the practice. Please support us to continue supporting you!
When we vaccinate you against flu we also obtain vital data that is necessary for your medical record and care. If you choose to go elsewhere for your vaccine such as a pharmacy or supermarket, we cannot gather this information, and they do not gather this for us, so please book at the Surgery.
We work fast and are practised in vaccinating you, informing you of updates required and gathering data so this does not take long. This saves all of us a lot of additional work and crucially, also saves on valuable appointments.
We will also advise you at the same time if you are eligible to be vaccinated against shingles, and/or pneumonia and can offer to do this at the same time.
And finally, we also check if you are overdue a review for areas such as your blood pressure, medication, asthma, diabetes etc.
If you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, please book your vaccine with the surgery and help us gather your data and ensure your health is up to date all in one appointment.
- We have not asked ANY pharmacy or supermarket to give you the flu vaccine on our behalf or gather vital medical updates. We do prefer to do this ourselves please.
- You are NOT doing us a favour, or saving us time by having your flu vaccine somewhere else.
- The pharmacies and supermarkets are NOT doing us a favour by giving you the vaccine.
- Pharmacies and supermarkets do not have access to your full medical record/history or know you as well as we do.
Further updates will follow. Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages.
For more information on flu, please click here. Or see this government booklet – use new link www.gov.uk/the-flu-vaccination-who-should-have-it-and-why