Protect against flu

There are three main ways of preventing flu: good hygiene, such as handwashing and cleaning, the flu vaccination and antiviral medication.

Good hygiene

To reduce your risk of getting flu or spreading it to other people, you should always:

  • make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water
  • clean surfaces such as your keyboard, telephone and door handles regularly to get rid of germs
  • use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible

The flu vaccine

The annual flu vaccine can help reduce your risk of getting flu each year, although it's not 100% effective because it doesn't work against every possible type of flu virus.

A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for anyone over 65, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems.

The annual nasal spray is also now given to healthy children aged two, three and four years old, and to children in school years one, two and three by our school nurses.

The best time to have the vaccine is in the autumn, between September and early November.