Winter Flu


Do you have a heart or lung condition, or know a colleague, friend or family member who does?

Did you know people with underlying health conditions are highly likely to be eligible for a free flu jab?

Flu, on top of health conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, emphysema or heart disease, increases chances of serious health complications and a hospital visit. This is even the case even if conditions are mild, managed or symptoms are controlled.

People in a clinical risk group, such as those with a heart or lung condition, are four to five times more likely to be admitted to hospital with the flu.

Last winter alone, nearly 10,000 people were hospitalised because of flu in the UK, and there were an estimated 15,969 deaths. It is estimated that around 2,500 were people with a heart condition, and 3,500 with a respiratory condition.

There are 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK. Asthma affects one in every 11 people and one in five households, with asthma attacks hospitalising someone every eight minutes.

115,000 people in the UK people are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease each year, equivalent to a new diagnosis every five minutes.

People living with heart disease are at a much higher risk of becoming severely ill if they catch flu. In fact, people with chronic heart disease are approximately 11 times more likely to die if they develop flu compared to healthy individuals. 

In recent years, research has shown that flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-associated hospitalisations among adults by about 40%.

It takes up to two weeks for you to be protected by the vaccine, so get the jab as soon as possible to not only help keep yourself well this winter, but your friends and family too.

Speak to your GP or local pharmacy to discuss/arrange your free jab as soon as possible.

The flu jab really is the safest way to protect yourself - it’s free because you need it!

Useful links:


This page was published on 3 May 2019