This year we are being asked to deliver the biggest Flu campaign we have ever known in general practice.
You can help us ensure that everyone receives their vaccinations at the right time by reading the FAQ’s below!
What is flu?
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it is sometimes called seasonal flu. It is a very infectious disease that can come on very quickly. The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, cough, headache, pains in your joints and muscles and extreme tiredness. Healthy people usually recover within 3 to 4 weeks, but some people can develop serious life-threatening complications and need to be admitted to hospital.
Colds are much less serious and usually start with a stuffy or a runny nose, sore throat and cough.
How do we prevent the spread of flu?
Flu is unpredictable and there can be different strains of the virus. However, over the last ten years, the flu vaccine has generally been very good at targeting the circulating strains.
The flu vaccine is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children who are most at risk of flu and its complications.
Can I have a free flu vaccination on the NHS?
Flu can affect anyone but if you have a long-term health condition flu can make it worse, even if the condition is well managed and you normally feel well.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
This year the flu vaccine is being offered on the NHS to:
- adults 65 and over (including anyone who will be 65 by the 31st March 2021)
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- CARERS – including people living with someone who’s at high risk from Coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
- children in primary school (n.b. these vaccines will be available via the school ONLY)
- children in year 7 (secondary school) (n.b. these vaccines will be available via the school ONLY)
- frontline health or social care workers
I am aged 50-64, am I also now eligible?
Later in the year, the flu vaccine is expected to be able to be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available to the 50-64 ‘newly eligible’ patients later in the autumn and until then, appointments are only being offered those patients who were already eligible. We have to prioritise vaccine stock for the most vulnerable patients first.
If you’re aged 50 to 64 but also in another at-risk group, you should book for your flu vaccine and not wait.
If you’re aged 50 to 64 and were not already in an at risk group, please ensure the practice has a correct mobile number for you, as details will be sent by text about the availability of additional vaccines later in the season.
I am almost 65, am I eligible now?
Yes. As with previous years, anyone who will be 65 years old by the 31st March 2021 will be entitled to receive a flu vaccine from the 65+ supply even before they physically turn 65.
For more information please see the Department of Health Website