Who should get a flu shot?
Everyone aged from 6 months of age is recommended to get a flu vaccination EACH year to protect themselves and to reduce the spread of flu.
Most important and FREE for these people
For some people, the vaccine is strongly recommended and FREE because they are most likely to get very sick or even die if they catch flu.
These people are:
- Pregnant women (at any time during pregnancy).
- People aged 65 years or older.
- People aged under 65 years (including children) with diabetes, most heart or lung conditions and some other illnesses.
- Children aged 4 years or under who have had a stay in hospital for measles, asthma or other breathing problems.
For more information, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist, or call 0800 466 863.
Do you work with these people:
- with children, and especially babies
- with older people
- with pregnant women?
If you do, it’s important to be immunised against flu to reduce the risk of passing flu onto them.
Flu immunisation is strongly recommended, but not free, for women who are trying to get pregnant during autumn and winter. The vaccine is safe to be given at any stage in the pregnancy and is free.
Having staff away from work because they have caught flu (the flu) can be very costly for your organisation.
In a study of unvaccinated participants, flu-like illnesses accounted for 45 percent of all days of illness during the flu season and 39 percent of all illness-related work days lost.*
Healthy, immunised working adults take significantly fewer days off work and have fewer doctor visits. Research has shown that the number of doctor’s visits and workdays lost were halved when employees were vaccinated. *
By encouraging your teams to immunise against flu you lessen the chance of it being spread around the workplace possibly leading to significant staff shortages.
What can your organisation do?
The most effective thing you can do is to pay for a flu vaccine for your staff using a workplace vaccinator or your local GP. Some pharmacies also offer flu vaccine service.
A workplace vaccinator can come onto your premises to administer the vaccine with minimal interruption to your productivity. Often they can be scheduled to work in with your company’s needs such as shift work timetables. The convenience of onsite vaccination can increase vaccine uptake of your employees.
Usually a workplace vaccinator can take care of everything including:
- Providing information for staff members to make an informed decision about whether they wish to be vaccinated
- Answering commonly-asked questions about flu vaccination
- Providing posters advertising the time and date of your organisation’s flu vaccination session
- Getting the message out there about flu immunisation is important. On this site you can find all sorts of helpful resources to help run a vaccination programme.
Appoint someone to be an Immunisation Champion to organise and promote your vaccination programme. They can send email encouragement, reminders and put up posters in high traffic areas such as cafeterias, locker rooms, and staff meeting areas.
Even if your organisation is not able to offer a vaccination programme, it is still a good idea to promote and encourage flu vaccination among your staff.
Above all, lead by example – when you and senior members of your organisation are among the first to get vaccinated – others will follow.
Children under 6 months old can NOT be given a flu vaccine.
A few people can’t get a flu vaccine because they had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to an ingredient in the vaccine or a during a previous vaccination. Check with your doctor or nurse if you are concerned.
People being treated with some cancer drugs may need to delay getting a flu vaccine. These drugs are atezolizumab (Tecentriq®), ipilimumab (Yervoy®), nivolumab (Opdivo®) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda®),
Note: Allergy to eggs is NOT an issue anymore because the tiny amount of egg protein in flu vaccines is not enough to cause a reaction.