03 Dec 2020

GP surgeries and pharmacies in St Helens have been working hard to vaccinate patients as part of the biggest flu programme in UK history, with people aged 50 to 64 now being invited to have their free flu vaccination.

In the week that Covid-19 vaccine has been approved, health organisations across the borough are asking residents to get their free flu jab as soon as possible.

The flu virus kills 11,000 people and hospitalizes tens of thousands more in England in an average year.

People eligible for a free flu vaccination this year are:

  • Those who are 50 and over (including those who will be 50 by 31 March 2021)
  • people who have certain health conditions
  • pregnant women
  • people who are in long-stay residential care
  • those who receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • people who live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the clinically extremely vulnerable patient list)
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • children aged 2 – 3 years on 31 August 2020
  • all primary school and year 7 children
  • children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions.

If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine, please contact your GP practice to arrange an appointment.

If you have been invited to get the free flu vaccine and have not booked your appointment yet, it is not too late.

Dr Hilary Flett, local GP and Governing Body Member for St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We want to make sure that all our flu vaccinations have been done before we start to take on the next big challenge of giving our patients the new Covid-19 vaccine.

“Once we start rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine the NHS is going to be really busy and it’s going to be harder to fit you in to get your flu vaccination so please help us help you and get in touch with your GP practice to book your free flu jab today.

“For the first time 50 to 64-year old’s are being offered the free flu vaccine, I’d really like to encourage these people to take up this offer.

“We’ve seen a great uptake this year, so I’d like to say a massive, big thank you to everyone who has had the flu vaccination so far.”

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council’s cabinet member for public health, said: “The flu should not be underestimated, it can be fatal and can cause severe complications particularly for people with existing health conditions.

“Having the flu vaccine is the single best way to keep you safe and to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who are already dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Good hand hygiene is also important in stopping the spread of flu. Catch any coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands- catch it, kill it, bin it.”

For more information or to check whether you are eligible for a free vaccine, visit: 


For more information about the Covid-19 vaccine, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/