Whilst we’re all very focussed on Covid-19 and being vigilant with our hygiene to protect ourselves from contracting the virus, we also need to remember that the usual winter viruses will still be the doing the rounds, particularly colds and flu.
Who can receive a flu vaccine on the NHS?
Flu can have serious implications and the following groups will be able to have the flu vaccine free of charge through the NHS (1):
Should you have the flu vaccine?
It is also very important that normally healthy individuals under the age of 65 also seek to have the flu vaccine this winter to provide protection from the symptoms and effects of flu.
How similar are the symptoms of flu and Covid-19?
Covid-19 and flu (2) can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Covid-19 and flu also share some symptoms, which include:
Where can you have the flu vaccine?
You don’t have to visit your GP surgery to have your flu vaccine, we are carrying out vaccinations in our pharmacy in Huntington. You can book in for either an NHS or private appointment, depending upon your eligibility (see above), and we will carry out a telephone consultation with you to limit your time in store, and then you will arrange to come into the pharmacy to have the vaccine. This typically takes a few minutes, and you can be assured that our teams will have taken all the necessary steps to protect your health through the use of PPE and cleaning regimes.
When should you have the flu vaccine?
When looking to have the flu vaccine it is typically recommended (4) that you should consider having the flu jab as early as September, before the flu virus begins to spread in your community. However, even having the flu jab later in the season is better than not at all. The vaccine will give you protection from the flu virus strains predicted to be most prevalent this winter (5). Having the flu vaccine greatly reduces the likelihood that you will contract flu or, if you do, you are much less likely to experience severe symptoms. Check out the NHS website for their article which addresses frequently asked questions.
What to do next:
So, this year the steps you can take to protect your health are to follow the recommended guidance for Covid-19 (6), maintain a healthy weight (7), eat a healthy varied diet to boost your immunity (8), and protect yourself from the flu by booking your flu vaccination as soon as you can. And remember having the flu vaccine does not cause flu as the vaccine does not contain any live viruses!
We have been taking appointments in store since mid-September, Monday to Friday. Currently access to flu vaccination supplies is being limited and so we are notifying our subscribers when new appointment slots are opening up. Be the first to find out and sign up to our newsletter.
We look forward to seeing you soon and answering any questions you may have.