Due to the rapid spread of Influenza, its health implications and the burden it causes to the NHS, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England created the National Flu Immunisation Programme Plan. Essentially, it commissions primary care organisations to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable to the flu for free.

Understanding that Community Pharmacy is the most accessible primary healthcare point there is, they are now part of this plan where the objective is to provide the public with more option and flexibility in getting vaccinated. In recent years, Community Pharmacies have played a vital role in keeping the nation safe from flu.

Who can get the free NHS flu jab at a pharmacy?

The free NHS flu jab is available to most of those who would normally get it free at their GP, with the exception that you have to be aged 18 or over.

For the 2017/18 plan, you will get a free flu jab if you are in one of the following groups of people:

All people aged 65 years and over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2017)

People aged from 18 to less than 65 years of age with one or more of the following medical conditions:

chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis

chronic heart disease, such as heart failure

chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five

chronic liver disease

chronic neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability


immunosuppression, a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)

asplenia or splenic dysfunction

morbid obesity

Pregnant women aged 18 or over (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season)

People aged 18 or over living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities

Carers aged 18 or over

Household contacts of immunocompromised individuals who are aged 18 or over

Those excluded from this service

Those following groups of people will not qualify for a free NHS flu jab at any pharmacy in England:

– are less than 18 years of age

– have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine

– have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to any component of the vaccine

– have had a severe anaphylactic reaction to egg which has previously required intensive care 

– have received a dose of influenza vaccine for the current season

Find a pharmacy that offers the free flu jab

Our search tool is the easiest and most convenient way to find out if a pharmacy near you offers the free NHS flu jab.

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