Good Health: The Flu Vaccination

Shutterstock image SACCO/Margaret Account
Good Health: The Flu Vaccination
The NHS SW London CCG | 2020 - October to December | United Kingdom
Our local NHS Team answers all our questions on the flu vaccine. Image: Shutterstock.

It’s “just” the flu?

As temperatures begin to dip, the cold weather becomes more than just an inconvenience… it can seriously affect your health. Each year the flu kills, on average, 11,000 people and hospitalises many thousands more. Catching the flu can be very serious, especially if you’re vulnerable or in an at-risk group.

This year it’s more important than ever to protect ourselves against the flu, which is why we’re encouraging the following groups to get a FREE flu vaccine:

·         Adults aged 65 and over

·         People with certain long-term medical conditions

·         Pregnant women

·         Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019

·         Parents of children in primary school

·         Frontline health or social care workers

·         People who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household

·         Adults aged 50 to 64 (if you are in this age group, you will be offered a vaccine later in the flu        season)

Flu is a highly infectious virus which spreads quickly, even between those not showing any symptoms. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect you, your loved ones and those around you, against the flu.

Don’t delay getting your flu vaccine, contact your local community pharmacy or GP practice to book. We want you to feel safe and have put measures in place to protect you.

Do I need the flu vaccine every year?

Yes. A flu vaccination doesn’t provide life-long protection against flu. The flu virus is constantly changing, and the jab is custom designed each year to try and counter the latest strains.

 Will the flu vaccine make me unwell?

A handful of people may experience very mild flu-like symptoms or aching around the injection site after getting the vaccine, this will last less than 24 hours and is just the body recognising the vaccine to prepare the immune system. However, it’s impossible to actually get unwell with flu from the vaccine because it doesn’t contain any live viruses.

Will the flu vaccine increase my chances of catching COVID-19?

This is simply not true. The NHS wants to keep you safe. The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against the flu. This winter with COVID still circulating, and the increased risk to your health if you are ill with both viruses simultaneously, it is even more important to get the flu jab as soon as you can.