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Are you entitled to a free flu vaccination? Get yours now

Are you entitled to a free flu vaccination? Get yours now
17 October 2018

Are you entitled to a free flu vaccination? Get yours now

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are encouraging those eligible to get their flu vaccination and help minimise the spread of flu this winter.

The following groups of people are eligible for free flu vaccinations, either via their GP or pharmacist; all adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, parents of children aged 2 and 3 years old, people with underlying health conditions or those with a learning disability. These groups are at particular risk from flu and the vaccination is still the best protection against an unpredictable virus.

Flu is a severe viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs). It is a highly infectious illness which spreads rapidly in communities and even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others. Flu is different to a common cold, symptoms of flu include a fever, chills, headache, aching muscles and joint pain and fatigue.

Dr Anthony Gore, a GP and Clinical Director at Sheffield CCG said: “For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel exhausted and unwell and you have to stay in bed and rest until you get better, but for people with underlying health conditions, children, pregnant women or the elderly flu can be very serious.

“It’s really important that if you are offered a free flu jab you take up the offer. It is offered to these vulnerable groups of people because we know that they need it to stay well during the flu season. There is a common myth that the flu vaccination gives you flu - this isn’t true, the injected flu vaccination given to adults contains inactivated flu virus, so it can’t give you the flu.”

The elderly, people with long term health conditions and pregnant women will be offered a free flu vaccination injection by their GP. Children aged 2 – 3 years old will be offered a free nasal spray vaccination by their GP. The Flu can be horrible for young children so it is important to protect them from becoming unwell. Children are also ‘super-spreaders’ of flu and vaccinating them can protect more vulnerable members of the community.

Children who get flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu such bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment so parents of children ages between 2-3 years are encouraged to get their child vaccinated as soon as possible.

Dr Gore continues: “Aside from having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of flu is to practice good hand hygiene. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands. If you think you have flu, stay home and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 if you have an underlying health condition or feel really unwell.

“Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet is useful for if flu strikes – paracetamol (or Calpol for children), ibuprofen, aspirin, cough medicine and throat lozenges may help alleviate the symptoms of flu. Remember, your local pharmacists can advise on the medicine you need to help you feel better.”

For more information about the flu vaccination visit the NHS Website.


NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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