Flu is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild or unpleasant illness in most people.
It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.
Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people are advised to have a flu jab each year.
For otherwise healthy people, flu can be very unpleasant. Most people will recover from flu within a week or two.
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to ensure they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:
- are 65 years of age or over
- are pregnant
- have certain medical conditions
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
Front-line health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.
For more information on who is eligible for a free flu vaccination please see the NHS Choices website