Flu and Living with a Long Term Health Condition

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma (that requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)

This list of conditions is not definitive. It's always an issue of clinical judgement.

A GP can assess you to take into account the risk of flu making any underlying illness you may have worse, as well as your risk of serious illness from flu itself.

The vaccine should always be offered in such cases, even if you're not technically in 1 of the risk groups.

If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system, you may also be advised to have a flu vaccine.

Speak to a GP or pharmacist about this.

GOV.UK also provide Easy Read guides to flu vaccination for people with a learning disability.