CARERS are being offered the free flu jab to protect them from catching the virus and stop its spread to those they care for, who could become seriously ill and even die from catching the flu.

The NHS is offering those who are the main carer for another person, or who receive the Carers’ Allowance, the free flu jab to protect them from becoming too ill to provide care or passing on the virus.

Flu can easily spread to those who are vulnerable, even without symptoms showing. The free flu vaccine is the very best way to stop carers from passing on the virus to those receiving care – who are at most risk from becoming seriously ill if the catch the flu.

This year with both the flu virus and COVID-19 circulating flu immunisation is more important than ever to reduce infections, protect each other and protect the NHS.

Those who receive a Carer’s Allowance are eligible for a free flu jab, along with primary carers for those unable to look after themselves, and carers may still be eligible even if not living with the person they care for.

Unlike other medication, the flu jab is an annual vaccination as the vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu. Even those who had a jab last winter need another one this year to stay flu safe.

Mandy Catchpole Clinical Programme Lead for Mass Vaccination, Testing and Infection Prevention for Sussex NHS commissioners said:

“Caring is an incredibly vital role and all carers provide an invaluable service. If you care for someone who may be elderly, disabled or have a serious long-term condition the free flu jab is vital to help look after your own health, as well as theirs.

“That’s why the NHS flu jab is free for anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of Carers’ Allowance. Ask your GP or pharmacist if you’re eligible and book a vaccine now.”

GP practices and pharmacies are receiving batches of the vaccine during the flu season, and flu vaccination clinics are scheduled to coincide with these deliveries. This does mean some may have to wait longer than they would wish to attend flu clinics (leaflet on why people may have to wait longer). The local NHS is reassuring those eligible there is plenty of time for everyone to book and get their flu jab.