Free flu vaccine available for people with chronic liver disease

Flu vaccinations are available for free through the NHS for people living with chronic liver disease. Patients with chronic liver disease are at particular risk of severe illness if they catch flu. Those with liver disease are more likely to be admitted to hospital or on rare occasions be admitted to intensive care and potentially die. Evidence suggests that people with chronic liver disease are approximately 48 times more likely to die if they catch flu than individuals who have no other underlying health conditions.

It is really important that people living with conditions that put them at greater risk of severe disease and complications help protect themselves by having the flu vaccination. This can reduce flu, and prevent GP visits and flu-related hospitalisations. Despite this, only 43% of those with chronic liver disease had the flu vaccination last year. 

There are now a wider range of flu vaccines available which offer improved protection compared with those offered prior to 2018; those eligible for vaccination will be offered one of the vaccines that is recommended for them based on their age.

Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine should contact their GP for information on when vaccination clinics will be scheduled, and book in with a clinic or visit a pharmacy offering flu vaccination. 

If you would like any further information about the vaccination programme, you can email immunisation@phe.gov.uk