Children and adults with learning disabilities are clearly identified as a clinically ‘at risk’ group, eligible for a free flu vaccine as part of the national flu vaccine programme. Carers (family member or support worker) are also eligible to help protect the people they look after.

To ensure you and the person you care for can get flu vaccinations in an accessible way, you can use this letter created by NHS England and NHS Improvement (South West Region) to send to your GP to argue your case.

What your Health and Social Care organisations should provide people with learning disabilities and their cares:

  • Carers can get a free flu vaccination as well as health and social care workers.
  • Put reasonable adjustments in place to help people with learning disabilities have their flu vaccination. This could be extra time, photo cards or an accompanying friend.
  • Ask about offering of a nasal spray flu vaccine as a reasonable adjustment. PHE guidance outlines the nasal spray can be used for people with a severe needle phobia. The nasal vaccine is not as effective as the injection, but some protection is better than none.
  • Capitalise on attendance and ask about offering the pneumococcal vaccine within the same appointment.

Accessible resources on getting flu vaccines