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Who needs a seasonal flu jab?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has examined all the scientific evidence and recommended which groups should receive the seasonal flu vaccine.
Your GP, practice nurse or midwife is the best person to give advice about the most appropriate vaccine for you.
People in at risk groups include:
- pregnant women in all stages/any trimester of pregnancy (see Protect yourself and your baby: the flu vaccine and pregnancy);
- anyone aged over 65 years, even if they feel fit and healthy at the moment;
- children and adults who have any of the following medical conditions:
- a chronic chest condition such as asthma;
- a chronic heart condition;
- chronic liver disease;
- chronic kidney disease;
- lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroids or cancer therapy (people living in the same house as someone with lowered imuunity may also need to be vaccinated);
- a chronic neurological condition such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or a condition that affects your nervous system, such as cerebral palsy, or hereditary and degenerative diseases of the central nervous system or muscles;
- any other serious medical condition - check with your doctor if you are unsure;
- children who have previously been admitted to hospital with a chest infection;
- children attending schools for children with severe learning difficulties;
- anyone living in a residential or nursing home;
- main carers for elderly or disabled people (you should seek advice from your GP surgery as to whether you should be vaccinated so you can continue to look after the person you care for. You should also ensure that thay are vaccinated, if recommended).
Even if someone in these groups had the flu vaccine last year, they should still have the seasonal flu vaccine this year, even if they feel fit and healthy now, to make sure they are fully protected against all three common types of flu.