The flu vaccination is free and available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy, it will usually clear up on its own within a week.
Each year, the viruses that are most likely to cause flu are identified in advance and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends which type of flu virus strains to include in the virus.
This year the surgery is offering two different vaccinations, based on the latest guidance from NHS England. Fluad (new vaccine) is being given to patients 65 years and older, quadrivalent being given to those eligible aged 18 to 64 years old with a nasal spray being given to children and young people aged 2 to 17 years old.
The sole supplier of the new vaccine has already reported issues affecting delivery this coming autumn and advised of a delivery date towards the end of September, hence our delay in offering this vaccination this year.
Wootton Medical Centre have already purchased and reserved flu vaccines for all our eligible patients and appreciates your patience and support in this delay. NHS England have however, confirmed that the best time to have a flu vaccination is from the beginning of October to the end of November.
The flu vaccine is recommended yearly for those most at risk of flu. This includes:
- Children aged 2 and 3 years old;
- Pregnant women;
- Anyone living with a long term medical condition;
- Everyone aged 65 years and older;
Vaccinations at Wootton Medical Centre are available from 3rd October and these can be booked 28 days in advance (from 5th September).
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredicted virus that can cause unpleasant illness in children and severe illness and death among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with an underlying medical health condition.
Studies have shown that the flu vaccine will help prevent you getting the flu. It won't 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.
Flu vaccine side effects:
Serious side effects of the injected flu vaccine are very rare. You may have a mild fever and aching muscles for a couple of days after the vaccine and your arm may be a bit sore where you were injected.
Side effects of the nasal spray vaccine may commonly include a runny or blocked nose, headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite.
For further details, please see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/.