Carers are entitled to a free flu vaccine

Many people may not know that the free flu vaccine is also available to carers, as well as to those who suffer with serious illnesses or those who have a learning disability.

It’s important that carers know they are entitled to the free flu vaccine helping to keep them free from contracting the debilitating virus, and avoiding the serious consequences – not only for themselves but also for those who depend so much on the care they provide.

NHS England’s Regional Medical Director (South), Dr Nigel Acheson said: “Many people think of flu as just a bad cold, but it’s much more serious than that.  In particular, those with caring responsibilities need to be extra careful which is why it’s important that they know that they are entitled to have the free flu vaccination and avoid becoming unwell.

“The free flu vaccination is easily obtainable from participating pharmacies. This should be done as soon as possible, ensuring that carers and the people they care for are protected at the earliest opportunity rather than later and before the flu has time to circulate and spread within the community.

“Flu is highly infectious and caused by viruses that spread from person to person. The symptoms, which can come on very quickly, include fever, chills, headaches, aches and pains in the joints and muscles and extreme tiredness.”

Patients who need a full-time carer are likely to be at greater risk of becoming more seriously ill from the flu than the general population, so it’s important that their carers are protected against the virus. Vaccination offers the best form of protection.