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The flu vaccine, also known as the influenza vaccine, is a vaccine that helps protect against infection with the influenza virus, commonly known as the flu. 

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms and can sometimes lead to hospitalization and death.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The sooner the better. The vaccine takes 2 weeks to start working

You’re eligible for a FREE NHS flu vaccine if:

  • You’re are aged 65 years or older (including those who will turn 65 by 31st March 2024)
  • You’re pregnant
  • You have asthma or a lung condition
  • You have chronic heart disease
  • You have diabetes
  • You have a chronic kidney or liver condition
  • You have chronic neurological disease
  • You have (or live with someone who has) an illness or are taking medicines that affect the immune system
  • You’re severely overweight
  • You’re a carer
  • You’re a frontline health or social care worker working in a residential or nursing home, a hospice or with a home care provider
  • You’re a resident of a nursing or long-stay residential home

This list is constantly reviewed by the NHS. You can find the latest updates on the NHS Website.

The entire season. Booster doses are required annually

Adults and Children from 2 years: Single dose

The JCVI have advised that ‘early evidence on the concomitant administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines used in the UK supports the delivery of both vaccines where appropriate’

We only use egg free influenza vaccines. However we advise that you always let your clinician know about any allergies you have ahead of the vaccination.

Boosters are required annually

Adverse effects associated with this vaccination are fever, injection site reactions, and rash

Children from the age of 2 years can receive the vaccination 

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The vaccine can save your life, that of your loved ones and, if you’re pregnant, the life of your unborn child.  By getting the vaccine, you’re also preventing spreading the virus to other people

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The flu vaccine is important for several reasons:

  1. Prevent Illness: Getting vaccinated reduces the risk of getting sick with the flu.

  2. Protect Others: By getting vaccinated, you can help protect those who are more vulnerable to severe complications from the flu, such as infants, the elderly, and individuals with certain medical conditions.

  3. Reduce Healthcare Burden: Widespread vaccination can help reduce the burden on healthcare systems during flu outbreaks.

  4. Prevent Complications: Vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related complications, such as pneumonia.

It is recommended to get vaccinated before the flu season begins, which typically occurs in the autumn and can last through the winter months. It’s important to get vaccinated annually since the flu virus can change from year to year, and the vaccine is updated accordingly. The flu vaccination programme runs between September and March. However it is important that you get vaccinated early in the season for multiple reasons. Primarily because you would be protected very early, and also because the supply of vaccines is very limited.

There are different types of flu vaccines, including:

  1. Inactivated (killed) flu vaccines: These are given by injection and contain no live flu virus. Suitable from 2 years and over.
  2. Live attenuated (weakened) flu vaccines: These are administered as a nasal spray and contain a weakened form of the virus.
  3. Boosted (adjuvanted ) flu vaccines: These are designed for people 65 and older, as they may provide better protection.
The flu vaccine is generally safe, but some people may experience mild side effects, such as soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever, or fatigue. Serious side effects are rare.

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