Sept Flu Blog

2nd Sep

September Flu Blog

The Flue Season is about to start

2020 Flu season is likely to be one of our biggest for a long time.  Public Health England are encouraging every on who is vulnerable or over the age of 65 years old to have one this year.  This is to protect you and to reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment this year.

Please see our website section on available appointments.  The first 2 Saturdays are fully booked  

Flu vaccine overview

Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications.

Flu can be unpleasant, but if you're otherwise healthy, it'll usually clear up on its own in about a week.

But flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:

  • anyone aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • children and adults with weakened immune systems

Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it's recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to help protect them.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

This year the flu vaccine is being offered on the NHS to:

  • adults 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • people living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
  • children in primary school
  • children in year 7 (secondary school)
  • frontline health or social care workers

Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.

However, if you're aged 50 to 64 and in an at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine.

Which type of flu vaccine should I have?

There are several types of flu vaccine.

If you're eligible for the flu vaccine on the NHS, you'll be offered one that's most effective for you, depending on your age:

  • children aged 2 to 17 are offered a live vaccine (LAIV) as a nasal spray; the live viruses have been weakened so it cannot give you flu
  • adults aged 18 to 64 are offered an injected inactivated vaccine; there are different types, but none contains live viruses so they cannot give you flu
  • adults aged 65 and over are offered an injected inactivated vaccine; the most common one contains an adjuvant to help your immune system have a stronger response to the vaccine

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they'll be offered an injected flu vaccine because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2.

Talk to a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist for more information about these vaccines.

Find out more about who should have the flu vaccine.

People aged 65 and over and the flu vaccine

You're eligible for the flu vaccine this year (2020 to 2021) if you'll be aged 65 or over on 31 March 2021. That is, you were born on or before 31 March 1956.

So, if you're currently 64 but will be 65 by 31 March 2021, you do qualify.