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Flu is a highly infectious and very common viral disease. The effects of flu can be devastating, but by getting the flu jab you can stop flu in its tracks before it harms you or your family.
The Flu Jab Service is available at your local Rowlands Pharmacy between September and March.
Our hassle free approach means you will be asked a few questions to see if you are eligible for the vaccine and your jab will be administered by a qualified pharmacist. You will then be asked to remain in the pharmacy for 10 minutes following your vaccination.
It is best to have the flu jab in early autumn before any outbreaks of flu. Remember that you need it every year, so don’t assume you are protected because you had one last year. Call Rowlands Pharmacy and ask our team about the Flu Jab Service.
Note: Please do not attend the pharmacy in person for any reason if you or someone you live with are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or are waiting for a COVID-19 test result or have tested positive for the virus.
The symptoms include a raised temperature, a persistent cough, shortness of breath or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
You can either:
Flu is not the same as the common cold. It is caused by a different group of viruses spread through the air. Flu is a serious condition and can cause mild to severe symptoms and last up to several weeks. Flu and its resulting complications can cause mild to serious illness and even death.
The best way to protect yourself and your family against seasonal flu is to be vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of serious flu complications, and for people who live with or care for high risk individuals.
Why should I have a flu vaccination?
Because it is a viral infection, flu cannot be treated with antibiotics and although antiviral agents may reduce the severity and duration of symptoms, the only available preventative measure is the seasonal flu vaccination.
Whilst the NHS provides flu vaccination free of charge to high-risk groups, members of the rest of the population are no less likely to contract the virus – indeed they may be more exposed to it as a result of overcrowding on public transport, open-plan working etc. this increases the risk of onward spread to vulnerable members of their own families and communities.
Flu vaccination is only available in the UK to those outside of the high risk eligible groups if their employer provides it as a staff benefit or if they pay for the treatment privately.
How effective is the flu vaccination?
Because the flu virus can change from year to year there is always a risk that the vaccine does not match the circulating virus. The flu vaccination won't stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary, so it's not a 100% guarantee that you'll be flu-free, but if you do get flu after vaccination it's likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been.
Does the vaccine contain the Swine Flu Strain (A/H1N1v)?
Yes. The vaccination provides protection against both seasonal and swine flu virus strains.
Does the flu vaccination cause flu?
No. The vaccine contains an inactivated virus that cannot, in itself, cause flu. Any mild flu-like symptoms that may be experienced for up to 48 hours after vaccination are the normal response of the body’s immune system to vaccination – and the majority of people do not notice any such symptoms.
Are there any side effects from having the vaccination?
The flu vaccine has been robustly tried and tested and is extremely safe for administration in the UK population.
Some people may experience a slightly sore arm after the vaccination which can include redness, swelling, pain or bruising around where the vaccine is injected, but the majority of people do not report this side effect.
Less commonly, a mild temperature and aching symptoms may occur as a result of the immune system responding to the vaccine. This can last for up to 48 hours after vaccination and is not considered abnormal.
The flu vaccine is one of the safest in the world and the seasonal flu vaccine is given to millions of people in the UK each year.
Side effects more serious than these are extremely uncommon and very rarely occur.
How long does it take for the vaccine to take effect?
Protection against the flu virus starts to develop about one week after receiving the vaccination. It may take up to 14 days for your immune system to respond fully after you have had the flu vaccine.
How long does the protection last for?
Protection can last for up to one year.
If I had a vaccination last year, will I need another one?
Yes. This is because different strains of flu circulate every year, and the vaccine is manufactured to provide immunity against the most common flu virus strains in circulation in a particular year. (As stipulated by WHO)
Can the flu jab protect me against Covid-19?
No. The flu vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID-19 but by being protected from influenza you could avoid unnecessary doctors’ visits and protect vulnerable groups from the potentially severe complications of flu.
Can everyone receive the flu vaccine?
Whilst the pharmacist will conduct a personal assessment on the day, the majority of people can safely receive the flu vaccination.
Some reasons you may be refused vaccination at the pharmacy include:
If you have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous flu vaccination or an allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine (including gentamicin, polymixin and neomycin or a latex allergy).
If you are ill with a fever on the day of vaccination.
Can pregnant women receive the flu vaccine?
Yes, pregnant women are advised to obtain the flu vaccine irrespective of their stage of pregnancy to protect themselves and their babies. Pregnant women are at increased risk from the complications of flu if they contract it. Having flu during pregnancy may be associated with premature birth and smaller birth size and weight. Flu vaccination during pregnancy provides passive immunity against flu to infants in the first few months of life. Studies on safety of flu vaccine in pregnancy show that inactivated flu vaccines can be safely and effectively administered during pregnancy.