Flu Vaccinations 2021

We will shortly roll out the flu booster programme and those eligible for a booster will start to be contacted via text, letter or by phone. We are NOT operating a drive-flu service, instead all appointments will be held in Darlington town centre at The Old BT Exchange, Barnard St, DL3 7DR. There is a car park and signage will be in place. For those who would like to know about the covid bosoter programme, click HERE. 

Why is it important to have my flu jab?

Flu is an unpredictable virus that can be unpleasant, but if you’re otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own in about a week.

It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups, including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.

Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.


Is the FLU Jab Safe

You may experience a mild fever and aching muscles for a couple of days after having the vaccine and your arm may be a little sore.

Side effects of the child nasal spray vaccine can commonly include a runny or blocked nose, a headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite.

It is very rare that the flu vaccines cause serious side effects

Why are you doing things differently this year?

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic social distancing is vital to minimise the spread of the virus and therefore it will not be possible to offer vaccinations at your GP practice in the usual way.

There is a risk of a second peak of COVID 19.  If we vaccinate as many people as we can, as quickly as we can, this will help to protect the wider NHS against the normal winter flu pressures.

When there is a COVID 19 vaccination developed, we will be in a position to deliver that separately to the flu programme.

Who is eligible for the FLU Jab?

The flu vaccine is offered free of charge to people who are at risk. This helps protect them from catching flu and developing serious complications.

Those eligible are:

    • those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups;
    • pregnant women;
    • those aged 50 years and over;
    • those in long-stay residential care homes;
    • carers;
    • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals;
    • frontline health and social care staff employed by:
      • registered residential care or nursing home;
      • registered domiciliary care provider;
      • a voluntary managed hospice provider;
      • Direct Payment (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants;
    • those living in:
      • long-stay facilities;
      • nursing homes;
      • other long-stay health or social care facilities; or
      • a housebound Patient


Who should not have the FLU Jab?

Very few people are unable to have the flu vaccine but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction requiring hospital admission.

Some flu vaccines are made using eggs.  If you have a diagnosed egg allergy then please let your surgery know when you are booking your appointment. We will be able to make alternative arrangements for you.

(If you’re ill on the day it’s best to delay your flu vaccination until you have recovered. There’s no need to delay your flu vaccine if you have a minor illness with no fever, such as a cold.

It’s fine to have the flu vaccine while you’re taking antibiotics.

Children aged 2 and over are usually given the vaccine as a nasal spray.

How do I make an appointment?

Your GP practice will be in touch via text message or letter when the vaccine is in stock OR call 01325 238235.

Where is the flu clinic this year?

We are not operating a drive-flu service this year, instead, you will be invited to our new location which is the old BT exchange building heat Barnard St, just off Duke Street in Darlington, DL3 7DR.

Please come as close to your appointment time as possible. This will minimise queuing. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early for your appointment you will be asked to return at your appointment time.

Please wear a face covering when you attend for your appointment.  Do not attend if you have symptoms of Coronavirus (new continuous cough or high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell). Seek 111 guidance.

Watch the walk-through video of how to get to the vaccination hub and see what happens when you get there.

I am Housebound

To be classed as housebound you are only able to leave your house for emergencies. If you are able to visit a hairdresser, for example, then you would not be counted as housebound.
If you are truly housebound please let your GP surgery know. Someone will be in touch to arrange a home visit instead.

Shielding and Vulnerable Patients

Attending the flu clinic is the safest way for you to get your flu jab this year.  The COVID 19 virus lives for longer inside and is more likely to be transmitted by someone coming into your home.

Care Home Residents

Consent for vaccination has been sought by your GP surgery throughout August and September.

The Multidisciplinary Team who usually visits your care home will deliver your vaccination in October. Our aim is to vaccinate all care home residents by the end of October.

I am a carer

Where care providers have previously provided their staff with an occupational health led flu vaccination programme, we would encourage you continue with this again this year.  Some Community Pharmacies are able to come to the care homes, for a small fee, to give care staff the vaccines there the advice is to contact pharmacies local to you and ask whether they do provide that service.

For those care staff who do not have access to an occupational health service you will be able to access a flu jab, for free, from your GP practice or from a community pharmacy.  Please take along your work ID badge to the appointment to confirm your eligibility for a free vaccine.

There are limited supplies of vaccines and this year we have seen drastically higher demand, so we would encourage you to make an appointment as soon as possible.  You may be added to a waiting list for a vaccine.

You can book an appointment for our PCN drive through or walk through services on the NHS App or by calling your practices.  Each community pharmacy has its own arrangement, many are walk ins but I would advise you to call first to avoid disappointment.

Care staff eligible for a free vaccine:

  • Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
  • Health and social care staff employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider and;
  • Health care staff employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider
  • Health and social care workers employed through Direct Payments and/or Personal Health Budgets (such as personal assistants) to delivery domiciliary care to patients and service users.