More than a third of Londoners to be offered a free flu jab

London’s GPs, nurses and pharmacists have started to vaccinate everyone at high risk of getting or spreading flu this winter, in order to keep people well this winter.

One of London’s top nurses, Martin Machray is encouraging everyone who is eligible for the NHS vaccination to get theirs this autumn – highlighting that the flu virus can be serious, and even deadly, particularly in those who are very young, old or living with certain health conditions.

This year, a record 3.2 million people across London will be offered protection. For the first time, the flu jab is extended to all primary school pupils in the capital – meaning that an extra 117,351 children will reduce their risk of catching the virus by having their jabs at school.

You are eligible for a free flu vaccine if you are:

  • living with a long term health condition (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease)
  • pregnant
  • a child aged 2-3 or at primary school
  • aged over 65
  • a carer

The flu vaccine is the best defence against the unpredictable flu virus. It’s safe and effective, and it won’t give you the flu.

Joint chief nurse for the NHS in London, Martin Machray says:

I’d encourage everyone who qualifies for the flu jab this autumn to go and have it. It will protect you and your loved ones from getting ill this winter. I had mine at my local chemists and it couldn’t have been easier.”

Flu is serious and different from the common cold. Symptoms include a high temperature, body aches and fatigue, and it can be life-threatening for at-risk groups.

School vaccination teams, midwives, general practices and local pharmacies are all now getting ready to deliver vaccines to all eligible people, so speak to your local health professional to book an appointment.

It’s also vital that health and social care workers get the flu jab to protect themselves and patients. London hospitals and GP practices have been busy vaccinating their teams throughout October.

Aside from having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to practice good hand hygiene. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands.

You can find out more about staying well this winter.