Monks Park Doctors Surgery talk flu vaccines

October 08 2018
Thumbnail Image

It’s the time of year in GP-land when we turn our thoughts towards the annual flu vaccination.

It’s important for your health to have a flu vaccination as it can help prevent serious complications caused by the flu virus, not to mention the severity of the symptoms from the virus itself! You increase your odds of staying healthy as soon as you have the vaccine and if you’re of working age, you won’t have to take time off work sick over the winter.

It’s a common misconception that you can contract flu from having the vaccine but it’s not possible for this to happen. You may have side effects afterwards, but these are much milder than actually getting flu! Not only do you benefit but so do your co-workers, friends and family as once vaccinated, you can’t pass the virus on.

Below is an outline of NHS patient eligibility for the flu vaccination for this season. We already have clinics set up so if you’re an eligible patient do give us a ring as soon as you can to book in!

PATIENT ELIGIBILITY FOR FLU VACCINE

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications. You should have the flu vaccine if you:

are 65 years of age or over   

are pregnant

have certain medical conditions (see below)

are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill. Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer’s responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.

Flu vaccine for children

The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:

children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition

children aged 2 and 3 on August 31 2018 – that is, born between September

1 2014 and August 31 2016

children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Children aged between 6 months and 2 years of age who are eligible for the flu

vaccine will receive an injected flu vaccine.

Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between 2 and 17 will usually have the flu

vaccine nasal spray.

65 and over and the flu vaccine

You are eligible for the flu vaccine this year (2018/19) if you are aged 65 and over on March 31 2019 – that is, you were born on or before March 31 1954. So, if you are currently 64 but will be 65 on March 31 2019, you do qualify.

Flu vaccine for people with medical conditions

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:  

chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) emphysema or bronchitis

chronic heart disease

chronic kidney disease

chronic liver disease

chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease or Multiple Sclerosis

Diabetes

problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed

a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS

or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

being seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above)