Flu clinics are due to start on the third of October 2011.
We encourage anyone in the at risk categories to book an appointment for this vaccination. The groups likely to be most severely affected if they catch flu are:
Anyone over 65 years old,
People with respiratory disease such as asthma, COPD or cystic fibrosis,
People with heart disease,
People with chronic kidney disease,
People with diabetes,
People with liver disease,
People with a history of stroke, TIA, or multiple sclerosis,
Poultry workers, and
People with a weak immune system e.g. those on high dose steroids, those with no spleen, anyone receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or those with HIV or cancer.
We would strongly advise anyone in these categories to have the vaccine.
How effective is it?
No vaccine is 100% effective, however, people who have had the flu jab are less likely to get flu. If you do get flu despite having the jab, it will probably be milder than if you haven’t been vaccinated.
The flu jab doesn’t cause flu as it doesn’t contain live viruses. However, you may experience side effects after having the jab, such as a temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards. Your arm may feel sore at the site where you were injected. More severe reactions are rare.
The flu vaccine only protects against flu, but not other illnesses caused by other viruses, such as the common cold.
Who shouldn’t have it?
You should not be given the flu vaccination if you have had a serious reaction to a flu vaccination before.
If you have a high temperature, the vaccination may be postponed until you are better.
Not all seasonal flu vaccines are suitable for children, so discuss this with your GP beforehand.
Speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist if you have any further questions.