Seasonal Flu Vaccination
Flu (also known as influenza) is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. It spreads rapidly through small droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. For most people, flu is unpleasant but not serious. You will usually recover within a week.
Studies have shown that flu vaccines provide effective protection against the flu, although protection may not be complete and may vary between people. Protection from the vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains change over time. Therefore, new vaccines are made each year and people at risk of flu are encouraged to be vaccinated every year.
Your Local GP Practice is already protecting all patients at risk of Flu. Influenza can be a very serious viral infection that can spread in sudden epidemics through the autumn and winter months. The flu vaccination programme is designed to protect those most at risk. If you fall into one of the following groups make sure that you book your vaccination early before flu strikes.
When you are aged over 65 you become more susceptible to the effects of seasonal flu. Not having the vaccine increases your risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse.
People with long term illnesses
You are strongly advised to have a flu vaccination if you have one of the following, if unsure you can check with your GP surgery who hold you medical details.
- Lung conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- Heart conditions such as angina.
- Neurological conditions such as epilepsy, strokes and spinal injury.
- Blood disorders such as sickle cell or leukaemia.
- Diabetes and other hormone disorders.
- Kidney failure.
- Liver disease.
- Weakened immunity; HIV, cancer and undergoing treatment with immune suppressing drugs such as steroids.
- Morbid obesity, with body mass index over 40.
- Younger than 19 on long term aspirin.
- Metabolic conditions, check with your GP.
Children Under 4
Immunisation against Influenza has been added to the child immunisation programme. The vaccine is available this year to all children who are aged 2, 3 or 4 years on 1st September 2015 and is a nasal spray.
Pregnant ladies are more susceptible to the effects of seasonal flu and will be offered the vaccine, your GP or midwife will be able to discuss this with you.
Your GP practice is best placed to advise you about your health as they hold your full medical record.
If you have had the flu vaccine in the past you will probably be eligible for vaccination every year and should contact your surgery to book this again this year.
If you are unsure if you are eligible for the flu vaccine your local surgery will be able to advise you.
If you have been informed that you are eligible for a vaccine then they are advising you that it is in your best interest to take this offer up and to do your best to protect yourself.
By having the vaccine you not only protect yourself but also those around you and reduce the pressure on the NHS during the flu season.
All you need to do is book an appointment. Be safe, be protected.