Getting flu is a miserable experience usually meaning days off work or days in bed. For some, flu can lead to serious complications. If you are at risk, now is the time to get your free vaccination from your GP or local Somerset pharmacy.
Who is at risk?
Flu can result in serious complications for older people, infants, pregnant women and people with some underlying health conditions. If you are in any of these categories, it is really important you get vaccinated. Remember that you must get the flu jab annually as strains of the virus change each year.
Seasonal flu vaccine is given to millions of people in the UK each year. The specific strains of flu that are included may change from one year to the next but vaccines are still thoroughly tested and are safe.
What is flu?
Flu is a viral infection not the same as the common cold. Caused by a different group of viruses, symptoms are more severe and last longer, it results in a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.
Read more about the symptoms of flu
What can I do to prevent it?
The flu vaccine is the most effective way to stop getting flu. It is available from your GP surgery and is free for:
All people aged 65 and over on 31 March 2019
People with certain health conditions
People living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
Children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition
Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2018 - that is, born between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2016
Children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Care home and domiciliary social care workers in England who give direct care to vulnerable people
Those who care for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill may also be eligible for a free flu vaccination
Outside of these groups you are likely to have to pay, although your employer may purchase NHS vouchers to enable you to get a free jab.
The NHS website contains lots of information about the flu virus
Download the leaflet The flu vaccination - who should have it and why
Download the leaflet Protecting your child against flu
Download the Easyread leaflet All about flu and how to stop getting it
Download the Easyread leaflet for children with learning disabilities All about flu and how to stop getting it