What is flu?
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it is sometimes called seasonal flu. It is a very infectious disease that can come on very quickly. The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, cough, headache, pains in your joints and muscles and extreme tiredness. Healthy people usually recover within 3 to 4 weeks, but some people can develop serious life-threatening complications and need to be admitted to hospital.
Colds are much less serious and usually start with a stuffy or a runny nose, sore throat and cough.
How do we prevent the spread of flu?
Flu is unpredictable and there can be different strains of the virus. However, over the last ten years, the flu vaccine has generally been very good at targeting the circulating strains.
The flu vaccine is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children who are most at risk of flu and its complications.
Can I have a free flu vaccination on the NHS?
Flu can affect anyone but if you have a long-term health condition flu can make it worse, even if the condition is well managed and you normally feel well.
We provide flu vaccines if you are:
- aged 65 or over,
- aged 2, 3 or 4 (by nasal spray),
- over six months of age and have one of the following conditions:
- chronic respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and cystic fibrosis. Also, people with severe asthma who need to continuously or repeatedly use their inhaler, take steroid medication, or who have been admitted to hospital because of their asthma
- chronic heart disease, including heart failure, congenital heart disease, and heart disease caused by high blood pressure
- chronic kidney disease, such as kidney failure and people who have had a kidney transplant,
- chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis,
- chronic neurological diseases, such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease or multiple sclerosis,
- a suppressed immune system, due to disease or treatment. This includes people who have a damaged or no spleen, those people with HIV, people having chemotherapy or other immunosuppressant treatment, and those on high doses of steroid medication.
- very overweight with a BMI over 40.
- living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility (not including prisons, young offender institutions or university halls of residence),
- receive carer’s allowance or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill,
For more information please see the Department of Health Website.
Every autumn, around September/October, we start our flu clinics.
We aim to vaccinate as many of those at risk, as indicated above.
Update as at 9th November 2018
- The ‘special’ vaccines for people who are 65+ (or who will be 65+ by 31st March 2019) are proving very popular and we have now allocated all stocks of this to patients that have booked appointments specifically.
- We are no longer able to offer appointments for these special 65+ vaccines as supplies are not available for us. We are however happy to offer the standard vaccine to everyone who wishes to have that, please ask at Reception.
- nder 18s
- We have plenty of vaccines in stock for children who are at risk, can easily order more, and there are lots of appointments available for at risk children. To check if your child is eligible,Flu vaccinations for children in 2018 or ask at Reception.
- We have plenty of the ‘normal vaccines’ for 18-64 year olds in stock, and appointments are available to book via reception throughout October, November and December.
- For anyone who is not physically capable of leaving the house, a Nurse will be able to visit in due course. Dates to be confirmed, so please give your name to reception for the list.
- The Home Visits are hopefully all going to happen w/c 12th November and w/c 19th November.
- PHARMACY FLU VACCINES
- As far as we know, stocks are now very low at the Pharmacy and we strongly encourage everyone to book to attend the GP practice for their flu vaccines, as we have ordered sufficient stocks for all our registered patients.
- If you work for an NHS organisation, your occupational health department will be able to organise your flu vaccine. We are however able to vaccinate care home staff, hospice staff and volunteers at the practice. Please ask for details.
- Please remember to inform the practice if you don’t intend to have a flu vaccine at all, so that stocks can be allocated to those who need one.
- Remember for anyone who wants a flu vaccine for being a carer, no problem whatsoever, please just tell us, and book yourself in an appointment for a free carers flu vaccine. Carers packs are also available at reception with further details of advice and support services on offer.