Flu is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild or unpleasant illness in most people. 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. These people are advised to have a flu jab each year.
For otherwise healthy people, flu can be very unpleasant. Most people will recover from flu within a week or two.
Patients Aged 16 years and Older
Eligible patients are invited for a flu vaccination by invitation. Invitations are sent by SMS message/phone call to eligible patients during early September to advise of clinic dates and times. Walk-in appointments are available to all eligible patients.
Patients aged under 16 years old
Eligible children are also invited for a flu vaccination by invitation. These invitations are sent by SMS/telephone call in October.
Children are given the flu vaccine by Nasal spray and sometimes require a second dose 1 month later (the nurse will advise if this is required).
People who should have a flu jab
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to ensure they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:
- are 65 years of age or over
- aged below 65 and have certain medical conditons
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- are a front-line health and social care worker. It is your employer’s responsibility to arrange vaccination for youIf you’re pregnant, you’re advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you’ve reached.If you’re pregnant, you will benefit from the flu vaccine because:
- That’s because there’s strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.
- Pregnant women and the flu jab
- it reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
- it reduces your risk of having a miscarriage, or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight because of the flu
- it will help protect your baby as they will continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their lifeRead more about the flu jab in pregnancy.The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition or is obese (BMI > 30). Long-term conditions include:
- Flu jab for people with medical conditions and obesity
- It’s safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from conception onwards. The vaccine doesn’t carry any risks for you or your baby.
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- The flu vaccine is recommended for:
- If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system, you may also be advised to have a flu vaccine. Speak to the practice about this.
- children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition
- children aged two & three (to be given at the GP surgery) plus children in school years one, two, three and four (to be given at School).Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between two and 16 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.Outbreaks of flu can occur in health and social care settings, and, because flu is so contagious, staff, patients and residents are all at risk of infection.It is your employer’s responsibility to arrange vaccination for you. So, if you are an NHS-employed front-line healthcare worker, the NHS will pay for your vaccination. If you are a social care worker, your employer should pay for vaccination.Flu jab for carers
- If you care for someone who is elderly or disabled, speak to the practice about having a flu jab along with the person you care for.
- In the case of health and social care workers employed by private companies, those companies will arrange and pay for the vaccinations.
- If you’re a front-line health and social care worker, you are eligible for an NHS flu jab to protect yourself, your colleagues and other members of the community.
- Flu jab for health and social care workers
- Children aged between six months and two years of age who are eligible for the flu vaccine should have the flu jab.