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Avoid flu this winter

Published on 29 September 2023 09:02 AM

This year, experts think that there may well be more flu and other respiratory viruses around. We need to do all we can to protect ourselves and others this winter.

Flu is a seasonal illness which is usually at its most prevalent from October to March each year.

Flu is much more than a nasty cold. Last winter, it’s estimated there were around 12,500 excess winter deaths amongst the 65+ cohort attributed to flu in England.3

As we age, our immune system weakens meaning our body is less able to fight off illnesses.  This happens even if we are fit and healthy.

The best way to protect yourself and others against the flu is with to get the flu vaccine.  Antibiotics and other medication won’t help to prevent you from getting it.

There are different flu strains and so each year the vaccine is created to protect against the most prevalent strain. This is why you should get a new vaccine each year.

Don’t believe everything you see or hear – there are a lot of myths around the flu vaccine. Check the facts here.

Who should get the flu vaccine?
The following groups can get a flu vaccine for free from their GP, Pharmacy, or other healthcare professional:
• those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
• pregnant women
• all those aged 65 years and over
• those in long-stay residential care homes
• carers, those in receipt of carer’s allowance or main carer of an older or disabled
• household contacts of immunocompromised individuals
• frontline health and social care staff

3 Surveillance of influenza and other seasonal respiratory viruses in the UK, winter 2022 to 2023 - GOV.UK (