Flu (also known as influenza) is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. It spreads rapidly through small droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. For most people, flu is unpleasant but not serious. You will usually recover within a week.
Studies have shown that flu vaccines provide effective protection against the flu, although protection may not be complete and may vary between people. Protection from the vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains change over time. Therefore, new vaccines are made each year and people at risk of flu are encouraged to be vaccinated every year.
The doctors recommend annual flu vaccines for patients aged 65 years and over. We also recommend the free flu vaccine if you are aged under 65 years and have the following conditions.
- You have chronic respiratory disease
- You have chronic heart disease
- You have chronic kidney disease
- You have chronic liver disease
- You are diabetic
- You have a weak immune system/Immunosuppression
- You are over 65 years of age or are 65 prior to the 31/03/2014
- You have a history of stroke or TIA or Multiple Sclerosis or a disease of the central nervous system
- You are Pregnant
Those who are in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the Carer of an older, disabled or Immunosuppressed person whose welfare may be at risk if the Carer falls ill.
- CHILDREN AGED 2, 3 AND 4 YEARS
BEFORE YOUR VACCINATION
When you attend for your injection, you must tell the Practice Nurse or Healthcare Assistant prior to having your vaccination if you answer 'Yes' to any of the following questions:
- Have you ever had a reaction to a previous flu vaccination?
- Are you feeling unwell or do you have a raised temperature?
- Are you allergic to hens' eggs or antibiotics?
- Are you trying for a baby, pregnant or breast-feeding?
AFTER YOUR VACCINATION
Most people have no adverse reaction to their flu vaccination
- A few people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days.
- Your arm may feel a bit sore where it is injected and you may experience some redness and swelling at the site of the injection.
- Any other reactions are much less common.
- Tell the Practice Nurse or Doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms that cause you concern
The flu vaccination is offered to people in at-risk groups. These people are at greater risk of developing serious complications if they catch flu, such as pregnant women and elderly people.