NHS England is running a campaign to encourage uptake of flu vaccinations among one of the most at risk groups – people with learning disabilities and their carers.

Children and adults with learning disabilities are clearly identified as a clinically ‘at risk’ group, eligible for a free flu jab as part of the national
flu immunisation programme. Carers can also receive a free flu jab to help protect the people they look after – this includes both support workers and family members.

People with learning disabilities have poorer physical and mental health compared to others, and a lower life expectancy. Notably sepsis
and pneumonia are major causes of preventable death, and people with a learning disability are particularly vulnerable. The latest Learning Disability Mortality review (LeDeR) found the top three causes of death to be pneumonia (25%), aspiration pneumonia (16%) and sepsis (7%).

Please ensure that any people you work with who have learning disabilities, or who care for people with learning disabilities, area ware of their eligibility.

Key messages

For people with learning disabilities:

  • Do not wait. Get the flu jab as soon you can to stay well.
  • See your doctor, nurse or a pharmacist about getting your free flu jab.
  • The flu jab is free because you need it. If you do not have the flu jab you could get very ill and have to go to hospital.
  • The flu jab is an injection in your arm. Do not let this stop you. The doctor, nurse, pharmacist, your carers or a friend will look after you.
  • The flu jab is quick and can protect you from getting very ill.
  • Scared of needles? Ask your doctor or the pharmacist about the nasal vaccine.

For carers (family members and support workers) of people with learning disabilities:

  • Care for someone with a learning disability? Get the flu jab so you do not get ill or pass the virus on.
  • Carers can have a free flu jab. Protect the person you care for and book your flu jab today.
  • Care for someone with a learning disability? You, and they, can have a free flu jab. Contact your Doctor or a pharmacist today and stay well this winter.
  • Does your loved one have a learning disability? They can have a free flu vaccination. Check if you qualify for a free flu vaccination too as it will help keep you and them well this winter.


You can find Easy Read and accessible resources here: