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It’s time to get your flu jab

It’s time to get your flu jab

Why should I get it?

Flu vaccination is available every year to help protect adults and children at risk from the flu virus.

The flu virus is unpleasant for most people, but it can be deadly for people who are already living with some health conditions. The flu virus kills around 10,000 people each year in England and Wales; that’s around one-quarter of the number of people that have died due to the coronavirus in UK hospitals this year.


Who is eligible for a free flu jab?

GP practices and community pharmacies are offering the free NHS flu virus vaccinations to all patients in the following categories

  • those 65 years old or over
  • those who are pregnant
  • those with certain medical conditions
  • those living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility
  • people receiving a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • people living with someone who’s at high risk of coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list) or you expect to be with them on most days over the flu season
  • 50-64-year-olds.

What if I’m not on the list?

If you’re over 18 and not eligible for a free flu jab through the NHS, you’re able to get one from a local community pharmacy if you’d like one. This will cost around £10-15.

Contact your local pharmacy to arrange your flu jab. Click here to search for your local pharmacy’s details.


What do I do?

If you’re able to have a flu jab free through the NHS, you’ll get a letter asking you to contact your practice, usually by telephone, to make an appointment.

  • Don’t go to your GP surgery in person to ask for an appointment. GP practices in Calderdale are only letting people into their buildings if they have been told to go by their GP.
  • Many GP practices in Calderdale are holding special flu clinics clinics, which are only open to people who have pre-booked an appointment.
  • You can call your local pharmacy to ask them about getting the flu jab. You can search for their contact details here
  • Anyone getting a flu jab should be appropriately dressed in short sleeves, so the person administering the vaccine has easy access to your upper arm/s.
  • If you are able to you will be asked to stand whilst the vaccination is given.  Only flu vaccinations will be given in during your flu vaccine appointment.
  • Please arrive on-time, and not too early for your appointment.

Flu vaccine myth busting (courtesy of Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub)

Any questions?

If you’re eligible for an NHS flu jab, call your GP surgery or local pharmacy to make an appointment, or to ask any questions about the process.

If you’re paying for your own flu jab, speak to your local community pharmacy.

Click here to search for your GP surgery’s contact details

Click here to search for your local pharmacy’s contact details


Frequently asked questions

What is flu & why is it so dangerous in the time of Covid-19?

The flu virus affects our immune system making it easier for us to contract other infections (such as Covid-19 or pneumonia).

For those suffering from a long-term illness, contracting the flu virus at the same time can make their condition worse and / or last longer. Vaccination against the flu virus has been shown to protect us by stopping the spread of it in households, communities and schools, reduce admissions to hospital, and reduce the numbers of deaths this winter – especially in older and more vulnerable people.

Why should I be vaccinated?

Flu vaccination is available every year to help protect adults and children at risk from the flu virus.

The flu virus is unpleasant for most people, but it can be deadly for people who are already living with some health conditions. The flu virus kills around 10,000 people each year in England and Wales; that's around one-quarter of the number of people that have died due to the coronavirus in UK hospitals this year.

Do all flu vaccines contain pork gelatine?

Do all flu vaccines contain pork gelatine?

No. There are two main types of flu vaccine available:

  • Injectable flu vaccine (used mainly for adults) - These do NOT contain pork gelatine;
  • Nasal spray vaccine (called Fluenz Tetra, used in all children aged 2 – 18 years old except those that are allergic to the vaccine) - This DOES contain pork gelatine.

If you are a parent or guardian of a child that should not have the alternative nasal spray vaccine (which contains pork gelatine) for any reason, speak to your GP or pharmacist to discuss possible alternatives.

Who is eligible for a free flu jab?

Your GP practice will soon be offering flu virus vaccinations for all patients in the following categories

                           

-        those 65 years old or over

-        those who are pregnant

-        those with certain medical conditions

-        those living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility

-        people receiving a carer's allowance, or who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

-        people living with someone who's at high risk of coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list) or you expect to be with them on most days over the flu season

 

Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to 50-64-year-olds. More information will be available later in the autumn.

What if I'm not on the list?

If you're not eligible for a free flu jab through the NHS, you should get one from a local community pharmacy. This will cost around £10-£15[h1] .

 

Contact your local pharmacy to arrange your flu jab. Click here to search for your local pharmacy's details.


 [h1]Need to check that

How do I get a NHS flu jab?

-        If you're able to have a flu jab for free through the NHS, you'll get a letter or a text message asking you to contact your practice, usually by telephone, to make an appointment.

-        Don't go to your GP surgery in person to ask for an appointment. GP practices in Calderdale are only letting people into their buildings if they have been told to go by their GP.

-        Many GP practices in Calderdale are holding special flu clinics, which are only open to people who have pre-booked an appointment.

-        Anyone getting a flu jab should be appropriately dressed, so the person administering the vaccine has easy access to your upper arm/s.

-        If you are able to you will be asked to stand whilst the vaccination is given.  Only flu vaccinations will be given in during your flu vaccine appointment.

-        Please arrive on-time, and not too early for your appointment.

Any questions?

If you're eligible for an NHS flu jab, call your GP surgery to make an appointment, or to ask any questions about the process.

 

If you're paying for your own flu jab, speak to your local community pharmacy.

 

Click here to search for your GP surgery's contact details

Click here to search for your local pharmacy's contact details

Does everyone need a flu jab?

Everyone should be vaccinated against the flu virus, even if you’re not in one of the at-risk categories.

 

Even if you’re not in danger of becoming really ill from the flu virus, someone you’re close to could be. By getting a flu jab you can protect others from the virus, as well as yourself.


Why are certain groups targeted for the flu vaccine?

Complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia are more common in people with other conditions, especially if they're also older.

 

In long-stay residential homes, vaccination helps prevent the rapid spread of flu among residents.

Why are people who live with those on the NHS shielded patient list being offered a flu vaccine?

The NHS wants to keep those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 well this winter and does not want them to catch flu.

 

If you live with someone who's on the NHS shielded patient list, or you expect to be with them on most days over winter, then you should ask for a free flu vaccine.

Can I have the flu vaccine while I'm taking antibiotics?

Yes, it's fine to have the flu vaccine while you're taking a course of antibiotics, provided you're not ill with a high temperature.

If I had the flu vaccine last year, do I need it again now?

Yes. The viruses that cause flu can change every year, which means the flu (and the vaccine) this winter may be different from last winter.

Can the flu vaccine cause flu?

No. The vaccine does not contain any live viruses, so it cannot cause flu.

You may get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, and your arm may feel a bit sore where you had the injection.

Other reactions are rare, and flu vaccines have a good safety record.

 

The nasal spray vaccine for children also cannot cause flu.

Is there anyone who cannot have the flu vaccine?

You should not have the flu vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a flu vaccine or one of its ingredients. This happens very rarely.

You also need to take precautions if you have an egg allergy.

Find out who should not have the flu vaccine.

Can I get the flu vaccine at a pharmacy or supermarket?

Yes, the flu vaccine may be available from pharmacies, or in supermarkets with an in-store pharmacy.

Pharmacies offer the NHS flu vaccine for free to people who are eligible. People who aren't eligible for a free flu vaccine can choose to pay for one; it usually costs around £10-15.

It's best to check with your local pharmacy to make sure they have the vaccine in stock before you arrive.

Can I have a flu vaccine if I'm breastfeeding?

Yes. The vaccine poses no risk to a breastfeeding mother or her baby, or to pregnant women.

Is it OK to have the flu vaccine during pregnancy?

Yes. In fact, it's important to get the flu vaccine if you're pregnant.

It's safe to have at any stage of pregnancy, including in the first trimester and right up to the expected due date.

It helps protect the mother-to-be and newborn baby from catching flu.

Find out more about the flu vaccine in pregnancy

I’m between 50 and 64 years old. Can I get a free NHS flu jab?

We need to protect the most vulnerable people from the flu virus first. If you’re 50-64 years old you won’t be invited for a free NHS flu vaccine straight away, unless you have a specific health condition that puts you at risk from the flu virus.

Most people whose health is at serious risk from contracting the flu virus should have had their vaccination by the end of October. If there are enough vaccines left, people aged 50-64 will then be invited to be vaccinated at your GP practice or a community pharmacy during November and December.

For more information on when and how your GP practice or pharmacy is delivering flu vaccinations visit their website, or speak to them by telephone.  Due to coronavirus restrictions, GP practices in Calderdale are not letting anyone in the building without a confirmed appointment.

You can find your GP practice’s contact details at www.nhs.uk/service-search

If you are aged under 50, or would like to get your flu jab sooner, contact your local community pharmacy. A flu jab costs between £10 - £15 from a pharmacy, and is the best way to protect yourself and others against the flu virus. Speak to your GP or pharmacist today for more info, or go to www.nhs.uk and search ’flu’.


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