Free NHS flu vaccine eligibility criteria

All people aged 65 years or over:

Including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021.

People aged from 18 years to less than 65 years of age with one or more serious medical condition(s) outlined below: 

 

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

Asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of inhaled or systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including
chronic bronchitis and emphysema; bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung fibrosis, pneumoconiosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). 

Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure

Congenital heart disease, hypertension with cardiac complications, chronic heart failure, individuals requiring
regular medication and/or follow-up for ischaemic heart disease. 

Chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five 

Chronic kidney disease at stage 3, 4 or 5, chronic kidney failure, nephrotic syndrome, kidney transplantation. 

 

Chronic liver disease 

Cirrhosis, biliary atresia, chronic hepatitis. ​​​​

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

Stroke, transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Conditions in which respiratory function may be compromised due to
neurological disease (e.g. polio syndrome sufferers). Clinicians should offer immunisation, based on individual assessment, to clinically vulnerable individuals including those with cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis and related or similar conditions; or hereditary and degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles; or severe neurological disability.

Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes requiring insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs, diet-controlled diabetes.

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

Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment, including patients undergoing chemotherapy leading to
immunosuppression, bone marrow transplant, HIV infection at all stages, multiple myeloma or genetic disorders affecting the immune system (e.g. IRAK-4, NEMO, complement disorder). Individuals treated with or likely to be treated with systemic steroids for more than a month at a dose equivalent to prednisolone at 20mg or more per day. It is difficult to define at what level of immunosuppression a patient could be considered to be at a greater risk of the serious consequences of influenza and should be offered seasonal influenza vaccination. This decision is best made on an individual basis and left to the patient’s clinician. Some immune-compromised patients may have a suboptimal immunological response to the vaccine.

Splenic dysfunction or asplenia

This also includes conditions such as homozygous sickle cell disease and a coeliac syndrome that may lead to splenic dysfunction. 

Morbid obesity

Adults with a Body Mass Index ≥40kg/m2

Pregnant women including those women who become pregnant during the flu season)

Pregnant women aged 18 or over at any stage of pregnancy (first, second or third trimesters).

Household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List

People who are household contacts, aged 18 and over, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation on most days over the winter and, therefore, for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable.

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

Vaccination is recommended for people aged 18 or over living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality. This does not include, for instance, prisons, young offender institutions, or university halls of residence. For the pharmacy service, this only applies to those aged 18 or over.

Carers

People aged 18 or over who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

Household contacts of immunocompromised individuals 

People who are household contacts, aged 18 and over, of immunocompromised individuals, specifically individuals who expect to share living accommodation on most days over the winter and, therefore, for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable.

Social care workers 

Health & social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of 12 vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those patients/clients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.

Hospice workers 

Health and care staff, employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those patients/ clients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.

Workers employed through Direct Payments and/or Personal Health Budgets to deliver domiciliary care

Health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments and/or Personal Health Budgets to deliver
domiciliary care to patients and service users. 

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