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 Vaccinations

Availability of the flu vaccine is strictly cotrolled by the NHS who set criteria on who can have this each year. Riverside will order stocks of flu vaccinations many months in advance, usually at the begining of each year. 

The best way to help protect yourself and others from flu is to have the flu jab every year. Over time, protection from the flu jab gradually decreases and flu strains can change, which means last year's jab may not protect you from this year's strains. There may also be an increase in flu cases this autumn due to the lack of exposure to the flu virus last winter driven by reduced social interaction.

Whilst no vaccine is 100% effective, having a flu jab will help protect you from catching flu and passing it on to others. After your jab, it usually takes around 14-21 days to be protected.

The flu jab and COVID-19

It’s important to consider having the flu jab because:

  • if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, you're more likely to become seriously ill
  • it will help to reduce pressure on health and social care services

 


Who can have the flu vaccine?

  • If you are aged 65 years (including those who'll be 65 by 31 March 2022)
  • 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. The surgery will contact you to arrange an appointment if you are eligible (based on current availability of vaccination stock).