- What is flu?
- What are the symptoms of flu?
- Who is at greatest risk from flu?
- Why should I be vaccinated?
- Where can I get vaccinated?
- When can I get vaccinated?
- How often do I need to be vaccinated?
- Am I eligible for a free vaccination?
- Will a flu vaccination give me flu?
- How does a flu vaccination work?
- How are flu vaccines produced?
How are flu vaccines produced?
In February each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) analyses data from the previous flu season and uses this to predict the strains of flu virus that are most likely to be circulating the following winter1.
After this assessment, WHO recommends which three or four strains flu vaccines should contain for the forthcoming winter2. Vaccine manufacturers then produce flu vaccines based on these recommendations.
Production of the flu vaccine starts in March each year after WHO’s announcement1. The vaccine is usually available in the UK from September1.
You can get your free NHS flu vaccination* at your GP surgery or in a pharmacy, while most pharmacies in the UK also offer private jabs.
*Free NHS jabs are available only to those who fall within the current risk categories.
- NHS Choices. How the flu vaccine works. July 2016. Available online: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/how-flu-vaccine-works.aspx (accessed July 2018)
- World Health Organization. Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2018-2019 northern hemisphere influenza season. Available online: http://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/recommendations/2018_19_north/en/
(accessed July 2018)