Winter Flu

Flu vaccine

One of the best ways to protect yourself from flu this winter is by getting the flu jab as soon as possible. It is free for those who are at increased risk from the effects of flu - it’s free because you need it.

The vaccination is free to:

  • everyone over 65
  • carers
  • anyone with a long-term health condition
  • pregnant women
  • certain groups of children.

By getting vaccinated, you will drastically reduce your chances of catching the flu and prevent spreading it on to vulnerable members of the community. 

Flu symptoms

Some of the main symptoms of the flu include:

  • sudden fever – a temperature of 38°C or above
  • aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • dry, chesty cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • nausea and being sick

Flu advice 

If you think you have the flu, it’s best to care for yourself at home to prevent the further spread of germs. Get plenty of rest, keep warm, drink plenty of water, and take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you have a high temperature or any aches and pains. If you need advice, you can call NHS 111 for free at any time, day or night. 

To reduce the risk of spreading flu, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, and bin used tissues as quickly as possible.

Further information

Reality check: How effective is the flu jab?

Flu can make you feel pretty rubbish, but for some it can be deadly. There is a vaccine against it, but how effective is it at protecting us against the virus? Watch the BBC How effective is the flu jab? Reality Check video to find out.

Flu mythbusters
Watch our flu videos