Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications.
Flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:
- anyone aged 65 and over
- pregnant women
- children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
- children and adults with weakened immune systems
Anyone in these risk groups are recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to help protect them.
Booking a flu jab
This year we are planning to give vaccination to more people than ever before. To make the process go smoothly and to maintain social distancing we will need you to book an appointment slot for your flu jab.
There are appointments available midweek and Saturdays throughout October.
The slots are listed as ADULT FLU VACCINATION - Please do not book for anything else. We politely ask that you do not use these slots for anything else as only flu vaccinations will be given in these slots. If you need to discuss anything else with a GP, please use our new e-consult application.
If you cannot use one of these applications to book your appointment then please phone reception after 10 o’clock
Attending for a flu jab
Please attend at the booked time for your flu jab
If you or your close contacts have covid symptoms (new cough, fever or loss of sense of smell/taste) DO NOT COME to the appointment, but reschedule for at least 2 weeks later. Click HERE for coronavirus advice
You may need to wait outside the building for a few minutes, as we cannot have too many people in the Health Centre at any one time.
You will be asked to enter the building via the front door and leave via the back door.
Please make it easy for our staff by not bringing extra belongings in with you. Please have your coat off and your arm ready for vaccination when you are called through to the nurse or doctor.
We will NOT have time to deal with matters that are not relevant to the flu jab.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
This year the flu vaccine is being offered on the NHS to:
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- 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
- children in year 7 (secondary school)
- frontline health or social care workers
Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.
However, if you're aged 50 to 64 and in an at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine.
Which type of flu vaccine should I have?
There are several types of flu vaccine.
If you're eligible for the flu vaccine on the NHS, you'll be offered one that's most effective for you, depending on your age:
- children aged 2 to 17 are offered a live vaccine (LAIV) as a nasal spray; the live viruses have been weakened so it cannot give you flu
- adults aged 18 to 64 are offered an injected inactivated vaccine; there are different types, but none contains live viruses so they cannot give you flu
- adults aged 65 and over are offered an injected inactivated vaccine; the most common one contains an adjuvant to help your immune system have a stronger response to the vaccine
People aged 65 and over and the flu vaccine
You're eligible for the flu vaccine this year (2020 to 2021) if you'll be aged 65 or over on 31 March 2021. That is, you were born on or before 31 March 1956.
So, if you're currently 64 but will be 65 by 31 March 2021, you do qualify.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
Flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus that can cause unpleasant illness in children and severe illness and death among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying physical health condition.
Studies have shown that the flu vaccine will help prevent you getting the flu.
It will not stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary, so it's not a 100% guarantee that you'll be flu-free.
But if you do get flu after vaccination, it's likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been.
There's also evidence to suggest that the flu vaccine can reduce your risk of having a stroke.
Over time, protection from the injected flu vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains often change.
New flu vaccines are produced each year, which is why people advised to have the flu vaccine need it every year.
Flu vaccine side effects
Serious side effects of the injected flu vaccine are very rare.
You may have a mild high temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days after having the vaccine, and your arm may be a bit sore where you were injected.
Side effects of the nasal spray vaccine can commonly include a runny or blocked nose, a headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite.
How safe is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccines used in the national programme have a good safety record.
Flu vaccines that are used in England have been thoroughly tested before they're made available.
When to have a flu vaccine
The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts circulating.
But even if it's later, it's always worth getting vaccinated..
Is there anyone who should not have the flu vaccine?
Most adults can have the injected flu vaccine, but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past.