The flu vaccine
Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.
Flu can be a very unpleasant illness causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness. It often last several days and can sometimes cause serious complications, even death especially in those with other medical problems.
Vaccination provides the best protection against this highly infectious disease.
The GP Partners, Dr M Azam and Dr J Azam, have reviewed the patient list and will be asking our administrative team to contact those patients who are eligible for a free flu vaccine. If contacted, it is important you receive a vaccine each year to ensure you have the most up-to-date vaccination.
The following are examples of patients who may receive an invite from our surgery:
- All children who are aged two to three years old (children aged four to nine should be contacted by the school to arrange the flu vaccine)
- Anyone aged 65 and over
- Pregnant women
- Children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
- Children and adults with weakened immune system
Frequently asked questions (FAQs):
Is it true the nasal vaccine spray for children contains pork?
Yes, the nasal vaccine contains a highly processed form of gelatine (porcine gelatine), which is used in a range of many essential medicines. The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable so that the vaccine provides the best protection against flu.
Having the vaccine is the single best way of help to prevent catching and spreading the flu virus – flu is a virus and not treatable with antibiotics.
There are many clinical risks of not being vaccinated (see above) and these risks extend to the family living in the same household and other children attending the same nursery.
Please see links below for more information:
Please note that none of the other influenza vaccines used at Park Grange Medical Centre contain porcine gelatine.
Is there an alternative for the nasal vaccine spray for children?
Yes, those children who are in a risk group (e.g. they have asthma) are eligible for an alternative flu vaccination (which does not contain porcine gelatine). Please note that if your child has not previously been vaccinated against flu, they would require a second dose of the vaccination after 4 weeks to ensure full immunity against flu.
Unfortunately healthy children are not eligible for this alternative vaccination according to the latest national immunisation guidelines. For any further queries, please contact a member of our team.
How safe is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccines used in the national programme have a good safety record.
When should I have the flu vaccine?
The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to end of November, but don't worry if you've missed it, you can have the vaccine later in winter.
Is there anyone who shouldn't have the flu vaccine?
Most patients can have the flu vaccine, but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past. Read more about who shouldn't have the flu vaccine here.