Around 25 million people, nearly half the population of the UK, are being offered the flu vaccine this winter.
One of the biggest changes, since last year, is that children of primary school age will be offered the vaccine via a nasal spray – this is also the first year that it will be available to primary school children of all ages.
Over 65s, those with existing illnesses and pregnant women are also offered the vaccine for free. Children will be offered their flu vaccination at school. Others who are eligible must make an appointment at their GP surgery. Bearing in mind that flu season is often the busiest time of the year for practices and getting an appointment may be more difficult than usual.
The flu, also known as influenza, is a viral infection that mainly affects the respiratory system and it is usually characterised by fever, chills headache, aching muscles, joint pain and fatigue.
Most people are unaware that they have contracted the virus as they are not aware of the symptoms.
When should I get a flu jab?
The vaccine can be offered throughout the winter, so you won’t miss out if you haven’t had it by December.
By getting a flu jab you are not just protecting yourself, but you are also protecting the people around you.
The elderly, babies and young children, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions are all urged to get a flu jab each year, as they are at high-risk of developing serious illness following flu, as well as becoming ‘super spreaders’ and spreading the condition to others.
Flu can be serious and around 1,700 deaths last year, were linked to flu.
Who is eligible for a flu vaccination?
You are eligible for a free flu jab if you:
- are 65 years old or over
- are pregnant
- have certain medical conditions
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or another long-stay care facility
- receive a carer’s allowance, or you’re the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
Some companies and organisations do offer flu jab schemes, an easy way to prevent catching and spreading flu.
You can book your flu vaccination directly with your GP surgery through myGP, just click through to book an appointment. It’s as easy as that!
myGP is the #1 healthcare app in the UK, currently enabling over one million people to manage their health in just a few clicks.