Last reviewed 14 September 2021

Public Health England (PHE) has developed guidance to support social care staff directly working with people clinically vulnerable to flu, to ensure there is high uptake of the flu vaccine this season.

All social care workers in direct contact with people who receive care and support should get the vaccine, including those:

  • working in a registered residential care or nursing home and who are directly involved in the care and support of people

  • working for a registered domiciliary care provider and who are directly involved in the care and support of people

  • working for a voluntary managed hospice provider

  • employed through personal budgets and or personal health budgets, such as personal assistants.

Vaccines should be provided by social care employers so that they meet their responsibility to protect their staff and patients and ensure the overall safe running of services.

Employers are asked to commission a service that gives easy access to the vaccine for all frontline staff, encourage staff to get vaccinated and monitor the delivery of their programmes.

Where employee-led occupational health services are not in place, the NHS is still supporting vaccination of social care and hospice workers employed by registered residential or domiciliary care providers, as well as those employed through Direct Payment and/or Personal Health Budgets to deliver domiciliary care to patients and service users. Their vaccination will be available through community pharmacy or their registered general practice.

Staff in social care are being advised that most adults can have the injected flu vaccine but should avoid it if they have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine before, and should speak to their GP if they are uncertain about it.

Those with an egg allergy may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection because some flu vaccines are made using eggs. GPs or pharmacists can supply a low-egg or egg-free vaccine if requested.

People who are ill with a high temperature are advised to wait until they are better before having the flu vaccine.

Resources supporting the flu vaccine campaign are available here.