Free flu vaccinations to be rolled out to over 50s

From 1 December, people aged 50 to 64 will get free flu vaccine as part of expanded flu vaccination programme this winter.

The government has confirmed that individuals aged 50 to 64 will be able to get a vaccine from their GP or pharmacy. This significant new group can now be included in the flu programme, with the initial phase of flu vaccinations well under way. GPs, trusts and pharmacists can order additional stock to vaccinate this new group from the centrally secured government supply of over seven million vaccines.

Flu vaccine uptake is higher in all vulnerable groups except pregnant women compared with this time last year. Provisional data published by Public Health England suggests 72.9 per cent of those aged 65 and over, 45.0 per cent of two year-olds and 46.8 per cent of three year-olds have had their vaccine.

The extended offer comes as part of the most comprehensive flu vaccination programme in the UK’s history this winter, alongside plans to support the NHS as it continues to respond to coronavirus, and to relieve winter pressures on A&E and emergency care.

Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “To prepare for this challenging winter, we committed to protect as many people as possible from the flu, to keep those at risk safe and reduce the strain on our NHS. I am pleased we are now able to deliver on that commitment with those aged 50 to 64 invited to get their free flu vaccine from the start of December.

“These vaccinations are already being given to our existing priority groups and that vital work will continue. More vaccine is flowing into GPs and pharmacies throughout the next few months, and I would urge anyone eligible for their flu vaccine to get one, including all health and social care workers.”