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Flu vaccination

Do you have asthma, COPD or another long-term illness? Pregnant? Maybe you are in one of the other ‘eligible groups’.

Then you ought to consider having the flu jab. It is the best way to avoid catching flu.

Ask your GP or local community pharmacist

Flu is an unpredictable virus that causes mild illness in most people who get it, but it can cause severe illness among vulnerable groups including people with an underlying health condition. The flu vaccine is available on the NHS for adults and children who are considered "at risk", as well as children aged 2 to 9 years old on August 31 2018.

You can read the full list of who is eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination here.

The flu vaccine is safe – and it can't give you flu

The injected flu vaccine given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses, so it can't give you flu. Your arm may feel a bit sore where you were injected, and some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards.
The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination that matches the new viruses each year. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year's flu season.

More flu facts here

Flu is much worse than a heavy cold

A bad bout of flu is much worse than a heavy cold. Flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. They include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, as well as a cough and sore throat.

You're likely to spend 2 or 3 days in bed. If you get complications caused by flu, you could become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.

You need to have the flu vaccine every year

The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination that matches the new viruses each year. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year's flu season.

Is the flu vaccine safe in pregnancy?

Even if you think you've had flu, you should still have the vaccination

If you're in one of the "at risk" groups you should still get the vaccine.
As flu is caused by several viruses, the immunity you naturally developed will only protect you against one of them – you could go on to catch another strain, so it's recommended you have the vaccine even if you've recently had flu. Also, what you thought was flu could have been something else.

It's not too late to have the flu vaccine in November

You should take up the offer of the flu vaccine when it becomes available, with the best time to have it from the beginning of October to the end of November.

Vitamin C can't prevent flu

Many people think that taking daily vitamin C supplements will stop them from getting flu, but there's no evidence to prove this.

There is further information at www.nhs.uk

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