Seasonal Flu Vaccination
Flu vaccination by injection, commonly known as the “flu jab”, is available every year on the NHS to protect adults (and some children) who are at risk of flu and its complications.
Although flu usually clears up on its own within a week, it can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia (a lung infection) in certain people. In some circumstances,
- anyone over the age of 65
children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
children and adults with weakened immune systems
About the service
We offer free flu vaccinations under NHS Wales for those most at-risk who are unable to book or get to a GP appointment. We also offer a private service for those not eligible under the NHS to receive a flu vaccination for a small fee.
Studies have shown that the flu jab definitely works and will help prevent
Over time, protection from the injected flu vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains often change. So, new flu vaccines are produced each year, which is why people advised
Can I access this service?
You are eligible to receive a free NHS 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 facilities
- 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
- are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact or a social care worker
How can I access the service?
Just pop in store – there’s no need to make an appointment. In most cases, we can carry out the vaccination straight away, although if we’re busy you may have a short wait.
The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to early November, but if you do miss this timeframe you can have the vaccine later in winter provided there are stocks left.
What happens next?
You may experience some mild side effects, such as a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days after having the jab, and your arm may be a bit sore where you were injected. Serious side effects of the injected flu vaccine are very rare.
How long does it take?
A flu vaccination takes just a few minutes to administer. We’ll need to ask you a few questions first to make sure you’re in good health.
Please note: We do not provide the nasal flu vaccination for children. Please speak to your GP if you have any queries regarding immunizing your children.
For more information and frequently asked questions, please download the NHS Beat Flu leaflet
Q: Do I need an appointment?
A: No, we offer a drop-in vaccination service for your convenience. At busier times, you may have a short waiting time.
Q: Should I get the flu vaccination with my GP or with you?
A: If you have an appointment with your GP already, we advise you to stick with it. If you’re unable to get to your GP surgery or are unable to book an appointment with them then we can provide the vaccination for you.
Q: Do I need to have the flu jab before the end of November?
A: We advise having the flu vaccination earlier in the autumn, between the start of October and the end of November to give yourself the best protection. There’s also more likely to be stocks available during this time. If you aren’t able to have the vaccination until December though, please don’t worry. It’s better late than never.
Q: Does the flu vaccination actually work?
A: Yes. However, it won’t stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary between people, so we can’t guarantee that you’ll be flu-free but it’s still the best way to protect against catching and spreading flu.
Q: Can I still have the flu jab if I feel unwell?
A: If you’re ill and have a fever, it’s best to wait until you’re better, but if you have a cold or other minor illness it’ll be fine to have the vaccination.
Q: I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need it again?
A: Yes. Flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine is changed each year to match the flu viruses likely to be circulating.