Protect yourself this winter with a flu jab
Flu can cause fever, headaches, nausea, aches & pains, coughs and a stuffy nose. A flu jab can help limit any interruption to your routine or days off work. The NHS vaccinations are provided free by the GP, but they are only available to certain ‘At Risk’ categories, please see below. The NHS is encouraging as many people as possible to be vaccinated this year but what do you do if you fall outside of the ‘At Risk’ groups and still want to be protected?
WNLP offers a paid for vaccination service to anyone over the age of 18. Many people choose to book an appointment and pay for it themselves at the pharmacy, either for convenience sake, ease of access or they simply prefer our service, even though they qualify for the free vaccination.
For most people, seasonal flu is unpleasant but not serious and having the vaccination will offer you the best protection.
However, certain people are at greater risk of developing serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These conditions may require hospital treatment.
The seasonal flu vaccine is offered free to people who are at risk, to protect them from catching flu and developing serious complications. You can ask more about the free NHS vaccinations from your GP. In addition to this WLNP runs its own paid for vaccination service, with the same flu vaccine, offering its customers the flexibility to book when they want, with parking and easy access to the pharmacy.
Ask a member of the pharmacy team today for further information about the vaccination programme at WLNP.
The Department of Health, 2012 recommendations the administration of the influenza vaccine to the following 'at risk' categories:
- are 65 years old or over
- are pregnant (see below)
- have a serious medical condition (see below)
- are 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)
- are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- are a frontline health or social care worker (see below)
If you are the parent of a child who is over six months old and has a long-term condition on the list below, speak to your GP about the flu vaccine. Your child's condition may get worse if they catch flu.
It is recommended that all pregnant women should have the seasonal flu vaccine, whatever stage of pregnancy they're in.
This is because there is good evidence that pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu, particularly from the H1N1 strain.
Studies have shown that the flu vaccine can be safely and effectively given during any trimester of pregnancy. The vaccine does not carry risks for either the mother or baby. In fact, studies have shown that mothers who have had the vaccine while pregnant pass some protection to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
People with medical conditions
The seasonal flu vaccine is offered free to anyone who is over six months of age and has one of the following medical conditions:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, COPD or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological disease, such as a stroke, TIA or post-polio syndrome
- a weakened immune system due to conditions such as HIV, or treatments that suppress the immune system such as chemotherapy
Frontline health or social care workers
Outbreaks of flu can occur in health and social care settings, and staff, patients and residents are at risk of infection.
Frontline health and social care staff should protect themselves by having the flu vaccine to prevent the spread of flu to colleagues and other members of the community.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that arrangements are in place for frontline healthcare staff to have the seasonal flu vaccine.
If you care for someone who is elderly or disabled, speak to your GP about getting vaccinated against seasonal flu. You should also ensure that the person you care for has the flu jab.