Annual flu programme

Seasonal influenza (flu) is an unpredictable but recurring pressure that the NHS faces every winter. Vaccination offers the best protection.

Each year the NHS prepares for the unpredictability of flu. For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease with recovery generally within a week.

However, there is a particular risk of severe illness from catching flu for:

  • older people
  • the very young
  • pregnant women
  • those with underlying disease, such as chronic respiratory or cardiac disease
  • those who are immunosuppressed

This year you are also recommended to have the flu vaccine if you are:

  • the main carer of an older or disabled person
  • a household contact of someone on the shielded patients list for COVID-19
  • a child aged 2 to 11 years old on 31 August 2020

Flu immunisation e-learning programme

An interactive flu immunisation e-learning programme, written by Public Health England, and produced by Health Education England’s e-Learning for Healthcare, is available for anyone involved in delivering the flu immunisation programme.

Video for health professionals

NHS Education for Scotland has made a video for health professionals on how to administer the vaccine.

2020 to 2021 flu season

2019 to 2020 flu season

2018 to 2019 flu season

2017 to 2018 flu season

2016 to 2017 flu season

2015 to 2016 flu season

2014 to 2015 flu season

Published 17 October 2013
Last updated 30 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Flu vaccination: information about the extended programme'.

  2. Added the Flu vaccination: why you are being asked to wait.

  3. Updated leaflets – Flu vaccines: 2020 to 2021 flu season and Flu vaccines for children.

  4. Updated guidance for the administration of seasonal influenza vaccination for healthcare staff and slidesets for the the national and childhood flu immunisation programmes for 2020 to 2021.

  5. Added flu immunisation training recommendations for 2020 to 2021.

  6. Added resources for the 2020 to 2021 flu season.

  7. Added oval albumin flu vaccines table to 2020 to 2021 season.

  8. Added the national flu immunisation programme plan for 2020 to 2021.

  9. Added 'flu vaccination for people aged 65 and under' leaflet.

  10. Added new inactivated influenza vaccine guidance for healthcare professionals.

  11. Added revised flu immunisation for social care staff leaflet.

  12. Added 2019 to 2020 child flu vaccination programme guidance for healthcare professionals.

  13. Added new season flu template letters, ovalbumin table and flu posters.

  14. Added links to the 2019 to 2020 training slide sets and to guidance for vaccine administration to healthcare staff.

  15. Added new annual national flu programme letter.

  16. Added recommended vaccines for 2019 to 2020 seasonal flu vaccination programme letter.

  17. Added 'Flu vaccination: for people aged 65 years and older.'

  18. Added flu vaccines for the 2018 to 2019 flu season poster.

  19. Added revised guidance for early years settings.

  20. Added revised versions of the flu vaccines poster, invitation letters and easy read leaflets to the 2018 to 2019 influenza programme.

  21. Added new version of Guidance on outbreaks of influenza outbreaks.

  22. Added WInter flu leaflet, Ovalbumin influenza vaccine table and Inactivated influenza vaccine guidance for healthcare practitioners to 2018 to 2019 flu season.

  23. Added Flu poster for visitors to hospitals and care homes.

  24. Added to slidesets and guidelines for the children's and national flu programmes for 2018 to 2019.

  25. Added the national flu immunisation programme letter for 2018 to 2019.

  26. Added the supporting data supporting data for adult vaccines document.

  27. Added an influenza poster for care homes.

  28. Added new information leaflet for social care staff.

  29. Moved revised 'Flu vaccination for early years settings' to 2017 to 2018 flu season section.

  30. Updated Information for healthcare professions on the 2017 to 2018 national flu immunisation programme, and use of inactivated influenza.

  31. Added the ovalbumin content of the influenza vaccines and best practice guide for GPs leaflet for the 2017 to 2018 flu season.

  32. Revised GP letter templates for the 2017 to 2018 flu season.

  33. Updated childhood flu vaccines graphic for winter 2017 to 2018.

  34. Updated 'Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why' for 2017 to 2018.

  35. Added school resources and promotional material for the 2017 to 2018 flu season.

  36. Added National flu immunisation programme plan for 2017 to 2018.

  37. Tailoring immunisation programmes report 2016 - Charedi community in north east London.

  38. Inactivated influenza vaccine guidance for healthcare practitioners

  39. New easy read childhood nasal flu leaflet

  40. New flu leaflet for early years settings including child minders

  41. Report on the extension of the Influenza programme

  42. 2016 to 2017 winter flu leaflet

  43. Influenza vaccines for the 2015 to 2016 flu season

  44. Updated Flu vaccination invitation letter templates for 2016 to 2017 flu season for at risk patients and for children aged 2, 3 and 4 years

  45. Added new pre-school vaccinations leaflet.

  46. Added flu vaccine: best practice guide for GPs.

  47. Information of the 2016 to 2017 flu vaccination programme.

  48. Added guidance about live attenuated influenza virus (LAIV) vaccine, to help head teachers and HCWs.

  49. Added: 'Responding to cold chain failures involving the LAIV' and 'Use of the LAIV: Q&A guide'.

  50. An easy read flu vaccination invitation letter template for people with learning difficulties is now available.

  51. An interactive flu immunisation elearning programme is available for anyone involved in delivering the flu immunisation programme.

  52. Updated poster showing which vaccines children should have.

  53. Added a quick reference guide to the childhood flu vaccines for winter 2015 to 2016.

  54. New GP letter templates to invite children aged 2 to 4 years and at-risk patients for flu vaccination.

  55. Added a flu leaflet for people with learning disability.

  56. Added: workforce planning and models of delivery toolkit for the extension of the national flu immunisation programme to children.

  57. Influenza vaccines available in the UK for the 2015 to 2016 flu vaccination season

  58. Added 'Flu plan: 2015 to 2016'.

  59. The 'Children’s flu vaccination programme: nasal flu vaccine Fluenz and porcine gelatine guidance' has been added.

  60. Added new guidance about flu vaccination in pregnancy.

  61. Updated leaflets for childhood flu immunisation.

  62. The 'Flu: pregnancy poster' and 'Flu: serious if you have a long-term health condition poster' have been published.

  63. Joint letter from PHE, DH and NHS England about flu vaccination for healthcare workers added.

  64. Updated to include leaflet for parents about Fluenz, children's nasal vaccine.

  65. The Flu vaccination: invitation template letter has been uploaded.

  66. Added 'Influenza vaccine and porcine gelatine: guidance for health professionals' to annual flu collection and removed inline link.

  67. The 'Accessing the flu vaccine strategic reserve in England guidance: 2014 to 2015' has been uploaded.

  68. The 'Flu vaccination in pilot areas 2014 to 2015 stakeholder briefing' has been uploaded.

  69. The 'Childhood flu programme slide sets for healthcare professionals: 2014 to 2015' and 'National flu programme for healthcare professionals slide sets: 2014 to 2015' have been uploaded.

  70. Rearranged order of documents on request

  71. Flu vaccination: winter 2014 to 2015 promotional material added.

  72. 'Childhood flu immunisation programme 2014 to 2015: update and provisional roll-out schedule' and 'Childhood flu immunisation programme 2013 to 2014: pilot feedback' have been added to this page.

  73. Childhood flu immunisation programme from September 2014 to 2015: information for parents and schools guidance added.

  74. Added the 2014 to 2015 flu plan and supporting programme letter.

  75. Added poster promoting flu jabs for people at risk.

  76. Added link to the vaccines and gelatine response statement.

  77. First published.