Global health officials have warned that an agile response is needed ahead of the impending flu season, with concerns it may be worse than the previous two years.


With no Covid measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing currently in force, there are fears that flu cases will spread quickly and harshly this winter.


The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) predicted there will be a lower level of natural immunity among the population after two years of winters under Covid restrictions.


Here’s everything you need to know about how – and where – to protect yourself with a flu shot.

Am I eligible?

People who are most at risk from the complications of flu are recommended to have the vaccine every year.

 You might be eligible for a flu jab if you have certain conditions:


Respiratory conditions, such as asthma (needing a steroid inhaler or tablets), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and bronchitis,


 Heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease or heart failure

 Being very overweight – a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above

Chronic kidney disease

 Liver disease, such as hepatitis

 Some neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy

 A learning disability

 Problems with your spleen like sickle cell disease, or if you’ve had your spleen removed

 A weakened immune system as a result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy


You may also be eligible if:

 You live with an immunocompromised person

 You are pregnant

 You are over 50 years old

 You are the main carer of an older person

 You are the main carer of a disabled person

 You are a frontline health worker


Your GP

You don’t need to wait to be invited to have your flu jab if you are eligible, and the service is provided for free to those that are eligible.

 Simply make an appointment at your GP surgery or ask any pharmacy that provides the NHS service.

 GP surgeries and pharmacies get the flu vaccine in batches throughout the flu season, so if you cannot get an appointment straight away, ask if you can book one for when more vaccines are available.


If you have a long-term condition that you are unsure qualifies you for a flu vaccine, talk this through with your doctor.



Superdrug is providing its private flu jab service in store.

 The service offers the quadrivalent flu jab, which protects against the four most common strains of the flu this flu season.

 If booked through Superdrug, the flu jab will cost you £15.99.

 In order to book, simply walk in to a Superdrug Pharmacy or sign up via the new service booking website here.


Lloyds Pharmacy

The booking form is now open for you to secure your winter flu jab appointment at Lloyds Pharmacy.

 They are offering flu vaccinations in store for anyone over the age of 12.

 If booked through Lloyds Pharmacy, the flu jab will cost you £16.99.

 If you’re aged 50 or over, have a medical condition or are pregnant, Lloyds Pharmacy will offer the flu jab free of charge, funded by the NHS.



Boots is offering the NHS flu jab, subject to availability, in most of their stores.

 When you book, they’ll ask you questions to check if you are eligible for the NHS jab, and if not, anyone over the age of 16 can book on their private service.


Those aged between 11 and 15 are eligible at some Boots stores, a list of which you can find here.

 If booked through Boots’ private service, the flu jab will cost you £16.99.


Well Pharmacy

Well, formerly known as the Co-operative Pharmacy, is now open to bookings for the flu jab in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 If you live in Scotland and are eligible for a free NHS flu jab, please speak to your local Well pharmacy team.

 Otherwise, you can still book a private appointment with Well, which will cost you £15.

 If you’re booking on behalf of someone under the age of 18, they won’t be eligible for a free NHS vaccination in a Well pharmacy.