Flu vaccinations are made available each year, usually from September until the end of January.
The key groups that should have the Flu jab each year are the following groups:
- Patients aged over 65
- Pregnant women
- Asthma and on a steroid inhaler for this
- Respiratory conditions like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis or COPD
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Stoke or TIA (sometimes called mini-strokes)
- Weak immune system (for example if your spleen has been removed)
- Carers - ask us for further details
Some general information
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. The real value of flu immunisation is shown in studies which find that if two similar groups of high risk patients (as listed above) are followed through winter, and one of them has been given the flu jab, more people in that group are alive at the end of winter.