The flu vaccination
What is flu?
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it's
sometimes called seasonal flu. It's a highly infectious disease
with symptoms that come on very quickly. Colds are much less
serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and
a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse
than a heavy cold.
The most common symptons of flu are fever, chills, headache,
aches and pains in the joints and muscles and extreme tiredness.
Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but
for some the flu can be very serious and they will need urgent
The flu vaccine
The vaccine still provides the best protection available against
an unpredictable virus that can cause severe illness. Even if
you've had the flu vaccine before you won't be protected against
the new strains of flu circulating. We strongly reccommend
you have the vaccine every year. Almost everybody can have
the vaccine, but you should not be vaccinated if you have ever had
a serious alllergy to the vaccine or any of its ingredients. If you
are allergic to eggs or have a condition that weakens your immune
system, you may not be able to have certain types of flu vaccine -
check with your GP. If you have a fever, the vaccination may be
delayed until you are better.
Consider having the flu vaccinations if you are:
- Aged 65 years or over
- living in a residential or nursing home
- the main carer of an older disabled person
- a household contact of an immunocompromised person
- a frontline health or social care worker
- children over 6 months or age
- pregnant - having the vaccination when pregnant is
beneficial and helps protect the baby from flu in the first few
months of life.
For advice and information about the flu vaccination, speak to
your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist. You can also visit the NHS