Find out information & advice about flu & Covid vaccinations,
and the importance of annual health checks for
someone with a severe mental illness.
The NHS recommends carers and the person you care for have their free seasonal flu jab, as it’s the best way to protect yourself and the person you care for from flu.
Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of a person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, are entitled to a free jab.
It will be the first winter (2021/22) when the seasonal flu virus will circulate alongside Covid-19 (as last year lockdown restrictions were in place). This will add substantial pressure to the NHS. The flu vaccination is therefore important to reduce hospitalisations and deaths.
Other groups eligible for the free vaccine include those aged 50 and older, pregnant women, all frontline health and social care workers, children and those in long-stay care facilities, as well as those with certain underlying medical conditions.
Those with a severe mental illness (SMI) are included in this group, such as someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder or other psychoses and patients on lithium therapy, as well as any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment. This could be people who are severely unwell with an eating disorder (who have a high or low BMI), or a diagnosis of a personality disorder.
It’s very important if you’re caring for someone eligible for the free vaccine you encourage them to have the jab. If you are not sure whether the person you care for comes under the free vaccination scheme, we encourage you to contact your GP, or mental health team.
Remember if you are coughing or sneezing to ‘Catch it-Bin it-Kill it’ to stop the spread of germs, use a tissue and wash your hands thoroughly.
For further information regarding seasonal flu visit the BLMKCCG NHS website which includes myth busting information, videos in different languages and easy read leaflets and posters.
For national and local information about the Covid vaccination and general advice for unpaid carers about Covid-19, visit these websites:
If you or a loved one you care for have a Severe Mental Illness (SMI), you are also eligible for a free annual health check and Covid vaccination.