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Annual flu programme

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

The flu programme is a coordinated and evidence based approach to planning for the demands of flu across England.

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, particularly chronic respiratory or cardiac disease
  • those who are immunosuppressed

Flu immunisation e-learning programme

An interactive flu immunisation e-learning programme, written by PHE, 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.

2018 to 2019 flu season

2017 to 2018 flu season

  1. Flu vaccination: supporting data for adult vaccines

    • Guidance
  2. Guidance on outbreaks of influenza in care homes poster

    • Promotional material
  3. Flu immunisation for social care staff

    • Promotional material
  4. Flu immunisation for early years settings including child minders

    • Guidance
  5. Childhood flu programme: information for healthcare practitioners

    • Guidance
  6. Inactivated influenza vaccine: information for healthcare practitioners

    • Guidance
  7. Flu vaccine for children: best practice guide for GPs

    • Guidance
  8. Influenza vaccine: ovalbumin content

    • Guidance
  9. Flu vaccination: invitation letter template for children aged 2 and 3 years

    • Guidance
  10. Flu vaccination: invitation letter template for at risk patients and their carers

    • Guidance
  11. Flu vaccination: easy read invitation letter template

    • Guidance
  12. Flu vaccines for children

    • Guidance
  13. Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why

    • Guidance
  14. Flu vaccination in schools

    • Guidance
  15. Flu vaccination: leaflets and posters

    • Promotional material
  16. Flu vaccination: easy read childhood nasal flu leaflet

    • Guidance
  17. Flu vaccination: easy read flu leaflet

    • Guidance

2016 to 2017 flu season

2015 to 2016 flu season

2014 to 2015 flu season

Published 17 October 2013
Last updated 26 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added the national flu immunisation programme letter for 2018 to 2019.
  2. Added the supporting data supporting data for adult vaccines document.
  3. Added an influenza poster for care homes.
  4. Added new information leaflet for social care staff.
  5. Moved revised 'Flu vaccination for early years settings' to 2017 to 2018 flu season section.
  6. Updated Information for healthcare professions on the 2017 to 2018 national flu immunisation programme, and use of inactivated influenza.
  7. Added the ovalbumin content of the influenza vaccines and best practice guide for GPs leaflet for the 2017 to 2018 flu season.
  8. Revised GP letter templates for the 2017 to 2018 flu season.
  9. Updated childhood flu vaccines graphic for winter 2017 to 2018.
  10. Updated 'Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why' for 2017 to 2018.
  11. Added school resources and promotional material for the 2017 to 2018 flu season.
  12. Added National flu immunisation programme plan for 2017 to 2018.
  13. Tailoring immunisation programmes report 2016 - Charedi community in north east London.
  14. Inactivated influenza vaccine guidance for healthcare practitioners
  15. New easy read childhood nasal flu leaflet
  16. New flu leaflet for early years settings including child minders
  17. Report on the extension of the Influenza programme
  18. 2016 to 2017 winter flu leaflet
  19. Influenza vaccines for the 2015 to 2016 flu season
  20. 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
  21. Added new pre-school vaccinations leaflet.
  22. Added flu vaccine: best practice guide for GPs.
  23. Information of the 2016 to 2017 flu vaccination programme.
  24. Added guidance about live attenuated influenza virus (LAIV) vaccine, to help head teachers and HCWs.
  25. Added: 'Responding to cold chain failures involving the LAIV' and 'Use of the LAIV: Q&A guide'.
  26. An easy read flu vaccination invitation letter template for people with learning difficulties is now available.
  27. An interactive flu immunisation elearning programme is available for anyone involved in delivering the flu immunisation programme.
  28. Updated poster showing which vaccines children should have.
  29. Added a quick reference guide to the childhood flu vaccines for winter 2015 to 2016.
  30. New GP letter templates to invite children aged 2 to 4 years and at-risk patients for flu vaccination.
  31. Added a flu leaflet for people with learning disability.
  32. Added: workforce planning and models of delivery toolkit for the extension of the national flu immunisation programme to children.
  33. Influenza vaccines available in the UK for the 2015 to 2016 flu vaccination season
  34. Added 'Flu plan: 2015 to 2016'.
  35. The 'Children’s flu vaccination programme: nasal flu vaccine Fluenz and porcine gelatine guidance' has been added.
  36. Added new guidance about flu vaccination in pregnancy.
  37. Updated leaflets for childhood flu immunisation.
  38. The 'Flu: pregnancy poster' and 'Flu: serious if you have a long-term health condition poster' have been published.
  39. Joint letter from PHE, DH and NHS England about flu vaccination for healthcare workers added.
  40. Updated to include leaflet for parents about Fluenz, children's nasal vaccine.
  41. The Flu vaccination: invitation template letter has been uploaded.
  42. Added 'Influenza vaccine and porcine gelatine: guidance for health professionals' to annual flu collection and removed inline link.
  43. The 'Accessing the flu vaccine strategic reserve in England guidance: 2014 to 2015' has been uploaded.
  44. The 'Flu vaccination in pilot areas 2014 to 2015 stakeholder briefing' has been uploaded.
  45. 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.
  46. Rearranged order of documents on request
  47. Flu vaccination: winter 2014 to 2015 promotional material added.
  48. '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.
  49. Childhood flu immunisation programme from September 2014 to 2015: information for parents and schools guidance added.
  50. Added the 2014 to 2015 flu plan and supporting programme letter.
  51. Added poster promoting flu jabs for people at risk.
  52. Added link to the vaccines and gelatine response statement.
  53. First published.