Can carers get a free flu jab?

Pharmacy Branch Manager

Carers who live in England and Wales are eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS at your GP surgery or local community pharmacy.

If you are the full-time carer for someone, it’s advised that you take advantage of the free flu jab to protect both yourself and the person you care for. Should you catch the flu and become too ill to leave home, it may be more difficult or impossible for you to continue looking after the person you care for. 

Also, if you are someone’s primary carer because they are elderly or unable to live alone, they are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they catch the flu. They may then experience complications from the virus, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. However, the person you care for may be eligible for a free flu jab themselves.

Who qualifies as a carer?

If you receive a Carer’s Allowance you are eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS. You will also be eligible if you are the primary carer for someone who can’t look after themselves. You may still be eligible even if you don’t live with the person you care for.

When should I have the flu jab?

The flu season generally lasts from October to March, and the jab may be available as early as September. It’s best to get the vaccine as early as possible, so you’re protected by the time flu viruses start circulating. If you had the flu jab last year, you will need to have it again this year as the virus changes each year, as does the vaccine.

The flu vaccine is available free from your local Well Pharmacy without an appointment, or from your own GP surgery.