Here are some common questions on flu
You’re eligible for a FREE NHS flu vaccine if:
- You’re are aged 65 years or older (including those who will turn 65 by 31st March 2024)
- You’re pregnant
- You have asthma or a lung condition
- You have chronic heart disease
- You have diabetes
- You have a chronic kidney or liver condition
- You have chronic neurological disease
- You have (or live with someone who has) an illness or are taking medicines that affect the immune system
- You’re severely overweight
- You’re a carer
- You’re a frontline health or social care worker working in a residential or nursing home, a hospice or with a home care provider
- You’re a resident of a nursing or long-stay residential home
This list is constantly reviewed by the NHS. You can find the latest updates on the NHS Website.
It is FREE if you qualify for the NHS services otherwise it is £19.99. This is payable on the day the jab is administered.
Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant, but you’ll usually begin to feel better within about a week.
However, it can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition and it can be horrible for little children. If children catch flu they can quickly spread it around the whole family.
The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get the flu jab.
Also, flu vaccination is one of the most effective interventions we have to reduce pressure on the health and social care system this winter. We are currently seeing the impact ofCOVID-19 on the NHS and social care, and this coming winter we may be faced with co-circulation of COVID-19 and flu.
The flu vaccination programme runs between September 2022 and March 2023. However it is important that you get vaccinated early in the season for multiple reasons.
Primarily because you would be protected very early, and also because the supply of vaccines is very limited.
It is impossible to get the flu from the flu vaccine. The vaccine doesn’t contain live flu viruses and therefore cannot result in a case of the flu. However, sometimes people catch a cold shortly after having the vaccine and this can make you feel ill. It’s important to remember that this is not the flu, it is a cold that mimics some symptoms of the flu but is far less acute or deadly.
The JCVI have advised that ‘early evidence on the concomitant administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines used in the UK supports the delivery of both vaccines where appropriate’.
After the flu vaccination, you may get a mild fever and slight muscle aches for a day or so. But most people don’t have these side-effects. Some people may have a sore arm after vaccination – but again, not everyone.
About 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of the general population have an allergy to eggs. Eggs are used in producing the vaccine.
If an egg-free flu vaccine is not available, a GP may be able to find a suitable flu vaccine with a low egg content. But if you or your child are allergic to eggs, speak to your GP.
The flu virus changes and mutates each year. So getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an outbreak. The flu vaccine won’t protect against all strains of the virus, but it will make sure it gives you immunity against the strains most likely to cause an outbreak.
Yes, the vaccine can save your life, that of your loved ones and, if you’re pregnant, the life of your unborn child. By getting the vaccine, you’re also preventing spreading the virus to other people.