Flu & Pneumococcal Immunisation

The Flu vaccine

The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It's offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.

The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.

Flu vaccine and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Flu vaccination is important because:

  • if you're at higher risk from coronavirus, you're also more at risk of problems from flu
  • if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
  • it'll help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with coronavirus

If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It'll be effective at helping to prevent flu.

Flu vaccine availability

Availability of the flu vaccine is strictly cotrolled by the NHS who sets criterea on who can have this each year. Riverside orders the current stock of flu vaccination many months ago at the begining of the year. However, since the coronavirus pandemic there is an ever increasing need to ensure that those that need the vaccine have it as soon as possible. There are more people than ever who are eligible for the vaccine (see below) as the NHS has said more people should have it. With the emergence of the coronoavirus many more people who are elgible are wanting the vaccine this year even though they may not have wanted this in previous years.  This is good news as the more people are protected the greater defence we have at redcuing the impact of the flu on our country. 

Presenty Riversdie Medical Practice are having our vaccinations sent to us in scheduled amounts due to the strain on availablilty. This is controlled by the government. We have started very early this year and we start vaccinating as soon as we recieve a batch of vaccines, haivng two or three flu vaccination clinics a week. 

We have been told by the department of Heath to start vaccinating those most at risk and we have called patients in this order and when we have the particular flu vaccine availble (there are different types for different ages).

If you are eligbile for the fu vaccine we ask that you do not call the surgery to book a vaccine unless you have been specicifally contacted to do so. We will contact patients when they are due to be vaccinated taking the above into account. If you think you are eligible but are not called this year please contact the surgery, but not phone, through the online services or post us a note stating that you have not been contacted. 

Who can have the flu vaccine?

  • If you are aged 65 years (including those who'll be 65 by 31 March 2021)
  • Over 6 months and at risk - if you have certain health conditions
    • If you have a chronic respiratory disease (eg severe asthma, COPD, bronchitis) if you are on regular inhaled steroids
    • If you have chronic heart disease (eg hypertension, heart disease, heart failure)
    • If you have chronic kidney disease (at stage 3, 4 or 5)
    • Chronic liver disease
    • Chronic neurological disease, (eg stroke, Parkinson's disease or MND    
    • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) 
    • If you have a weak immune system / Immunosuppression (eg HIV/AIDS, immunosuprresents, chemotherapy, splenectomy)
    • being very overweight – a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above
    • learning disability
  • Any age and at risk    
    • Residents    Long-stay residential and nursing care home residents 
    • Pregnancy -  Pregnant women, regardless of the stage of pregnancy reached 
    • Carers -  Main carers for a person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. 
    • Contacts -  Household contacts of immuno-compromised individuals.
    • Workers  -  Health and social care workers with direct patient/client contact


Do I Need To Be Protected Against Pneumococcal Infection?

Everybody aged 65 and over should now be immunised to help protect them against pneumococcal infection which can cause diseases such as pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis. Please phone the surgery during September to make an appointment if the above applies to you.

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