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Flu Vaccination

Extension of free flu vaccine to include health care workers

NHS England have extended the free flu vaccine to include health and social care staff who are employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, and are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients at increased risk from exposure to flu (meaning those patients/clients in a clinical risk group or aged 65 years and over).

Most community pharmacies and many GP practices will provide the vaccinations. Eligible people should contact their community pharmacy or GP practice to check that they are providing the service and they will need to take appropriate ID which shows their name and their employer - such as an ID badge, letter from their employer or a recent pay slip.

Further information is available on the NHS England website here; www.england.nhs.uk/flu.


Pregnant Women and Children aged 2- 8 Years Old

Health leaders across Bedfordshire are urging pregnant women and young children to get their free flu vaccine as soon as possible.


If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant then you will be eligible for a free flu vaccine. Children between the ages of two and eight years will also be eligible and will receive a free flu nasal spray. 


For the best protection flu vaccines should be taken early, ideally between September and November. Pregnant women and children are more at risk of developing serious complications such as: Pneumonia, Meningitis, Severe ear infections and Tonsillitis. In pregnant women it may cause Miscarriage, Premature birth and even Stillbirth. Taking the flu vaccine while pregnant will also protect babies for several months after they are born, which is important as new-borns cannot receive the flu vaccine before six months old.


Muriel Scott, Director of Public Health for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire said: “From 2016 to 2017, 61 children under the age of four and 38 children aged five to eight were admitted to hospital across Bedfordshire because of flu related complications. We want to reduce this number and ensure we keep our children safe and well.” 


Councillor Louise Jackson, Portfolio holder for Public Health at Bedford Borough Council said: “It is really important to protect children and babies against the flu as they are more vulnerable to developing serious complications. The flu vaccination is completely free and as well as protecting your child it will also help prevent the spread of flu to other vulnerable members of the community.”


For more information about how to get a free flu vaccine contact your local GP, midwife or your community pharmacy. Children aged four to eight years old will receive their vaccine at school by a qualified nursing team if permission has been given by their parents.


The flu vaccination does not give you the flu but some people may experience minor symptoms afterwards, as with other vaccinations.


For more information about flu and the flu vaccination please visit the NHS choices website:


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