What to expect when attending a flu clinic this year:
At Woodbrook Medical Centre we are trying to make everything we do as safe as possible to protect and keep our patients safe.
Due to the limits on the number of people in the building we ask that you arrive at your appointment time, no earlier, as we do not want a large number of people waiting outside at the same time.
When attending for your vaccination please remove any layers of clothing to allow easy access to your arm before you are called in for your appointment.
When it is time for your appointment, a member of staff will escort you to the clinic room for your vaccination; once this has been administered you will then be escorted out of the practice through a different door. This is to assist in the smooth flow of patients in and out of the practice while there are a large number of appointments going on.
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.
The flu vaccination is offered to people in at-risk groups. These people are at greater risk of developing serious complications if they catch flu, such as pregnant women and elderly people.
It is recommended that you have a flu jab if you are:
- All children aged two to eleven (but not twelve years or older) on 31 August 2020
- Over 65 (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021)
- Under 65 and in a clinical risk group (see below)
- Household contacts of those on the NHS shielding patient list, or of immunocompromised individuals
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility (not including prisons, young offender institutions or university halls of residence)
- Are the main Carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- Are a frontline health or social care worker (see below)
Additionally, in 2020/21, flu vaccinations might be offered under the NHS flu vaccination programme to those between 50-64 years, following prioritisation of other eligible groups and subject to vaccine supply.
Medical conditions that put you in a clinical risk group:
- Chronic (long-term) respiratory disease - e.g. sever asthma, COPD, bronchitis
- Chronic heart disease - e.g. heart failure
- Chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic neurological disease - e.g. parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease
- Learning disability
- Splenic dysfunction or asplenia
- A weakened immune system due to disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS) or treatment (e.g. cancer treatment)
- Morbid Obesity (BMI of 40 and above)
Frontline Health or Social Care Workers
Employers are responsible for ensuring that arrangements are in place for frontline healthcare staff to have the flu vaccine. Outbreaks of flu can occur in health and social care settings, and staff, patients and residents are at risk of infection.
Frontline health and social care staff should protect themselves by having the flu vaccine to prevent the spread of flu to colleagues and other members of the community.
From September 1 2013, a new annual nasal spray flu vaccine will be offered to all children aged two and three years as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme
It will also be offered to children aged 2-18 with long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. Children aged six months to 2 years with long-term health conditions aren’t able to have the nasal spray and will get the injected flu vaccine instead.
Who should not have the flu vaccination?
You should not have the flu vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a flu vaccine or one of its ingredients. This happens very rarely.
If you have had a confirmed very serious (anaphylactic) reaction to egg, have an egg allergy with uncontrolled asthma or another type of allergy to egg, your GP may decide that you should be vaccinated with an egg-free vaccine. One such vaccine is available for this flu season (called Preflucel, manufactured by Baxter Healthcare).
If no egg-free vaccine is available, your GP will identify a suitable vaccine with a low egg (ovalbumin) content. Depending on the severity of your egg allergy, your GP may decide to refer you to a specialist for vaccination in hospital.
If you are ill with a fever, do not have your flu jab until you have recovered.