NHS flu vaccination
People 'at-risk' of flu are encouraged to have a free NHS flu vaccination. These include:
• People aged 65 years and over
• Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups
• Pregnant women
• All children aged two to ten (but not 11 years or older) on 31 August 2019
• People in long-stay residential care homes
Flu is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater for people within the ‘at-risk’ groups. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to a stay in hospital, permanent disability or even death.
For more information on the flu vaccination visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
Long term conditions:
The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following conditions: a heart problem, bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma, kidney disease, liver disease, had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), morbid obesity (BMI over 40), cerebral palsy or learning disability.
If you are entitled to a free NHS flu vaccination you should book an appointment for the vaccine with your GP practice when they contact you. For more information on the flu vaccine visit www.nhs.uk
The nasal spray flu vaccination:
Flu can be serious for young children, but a simple nasal spray vaccine can help protect them. It is free, fast and painless. Children are also super-spreaders of flu; by vaccinating them it reduces the risk of spreading flu to frail and 'at-risk' groups.
- Children age 2 and 3 can have a nasal spray vaccine at their GP practice when asked.
- Children in school years reception to and including Year 6 will receive the nasal spray vaccination in schools from immunisation teams.
- All other children at risk with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu
The national winter campaign 'Help Us help you' has developed resources which you can download here:
Have you got a winter plan?
The NHS and partners are encouraging people to have a personal winter plan so they are well prepared when the weather takes a turn for the worse and the season for flu, coughs and colds really kicks. A plan might include:
- Having a free flu vaccination if you are in an ‘at risk’ group
- Getting help early before your condition worsens.
- Getting repeat prescriptions in plenty of time
- Finding out where your local minor injuries unit is
- Seeking advice from your local, pharmacist
- Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet
- Stocking up on winter food supplies
- Getting your boiler serviced
- Keeping your home heated to 18C
- Having a list of emergency phone numbers handy by your phone
- Keeping an eye on elderly or frail friends, neighbours and relative
Public Health England has also published the ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet which provides advice on staying well in cold weather and covers issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keep-warm-keep-well-leaflet-gives-advice-on-staying-healthy-in-cold-weather
If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, you can call 111 by phone or access the service online at 111.nhs.uk website (for people aged 5 and over)
How NHS 111 works:
You answer questions about your symptoms on the website, or by speaking to a fully trained adviser on the phone. The phone service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Depending on your symptoms you’ll:
- find out what local service can help you
- be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
- get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
- be told how to get any medicine you need
- get self-care advice