The flu jab is available every year to protect against the symptoms of flu. Flu can prove an unpleasant illness, and usually clears up on its own within a week, but for certain groups of people, the virus can lead to potentially serious complications, such as pneumonia. People with a fear of needles may be put off from getting vaccinated, and another issue is whether the jab has any side effects. The NHS outlines exactly what to expect.
After having the flu vaccination, the health body says you may experience a mild fever and slight muscles aches for a day or so.
It adds: “Some people may have a sore arm after vaccination. For example, if you’re aged 65 or over and having the adjuvanted flu vaccine.”
To ease the discomfort the flu jab may cause, you should continue to move your arm regularly and not let it go stiff, and take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Pregnant women should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends and prescribes it.
Aspirin should not be given to children under the age of 16.
Some people may question whether you can catch flu from the flu vaccine.
The NHS advises: “The injected flu vaccine cannot cause flu because there are no active viruses in the vaccine.
“If you have what you think is flu after vaccination, it may be that you have caught a flu-like virus that’s not really flu, or you may have caught flu before your flu vaccination had taken effect.”
It’s rare for people to have an allergic reaction to a vaccination, but if one is going to happen, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you or your child will be trained to deal with allergic reactions, and will treat you immediately.
The flu vaccine is routinely given free-of-charge on the NHS to ‘at risk’ groups of people. These groups of people include:
- Adults 65 and over
- People with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- Pregnant women
- Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019
- Children in primary school
- Frontline health or social care workers
For people who don’t fall into these ‘at risk’ groups, the vaccine is available at a small change from GP surgeries, as well as some pharmacies and supermarkets.
You can pay and book to have the vaccine at the following pharmacies and supermarkets. Most also offer the free jab on the NHS.
The vaccine at Asda Pharmacy is £7 and booking are available now.
Superdrug is providing a walk-in vaccination service. The cost of the jab is £9.99.
From October, vaccinations will be available at selected Tesco Pharmacy stores in England and Wales.
You’ll be bale to make an appointment to have one, or receive one straight away after filling in a short questionnaire.
It takes 15 minutes, during which the pharmacist will explain the process and answer any queries, and costs just £10.
The flu vaccine at Lloyds is just £11.50. The healthcare team at your local pharmacist will be able to tell you what’s right for you.
The jab costs £12.99. You can book an appointment either in store or online.
Appointments for children ages 11 to 15 can only be booked in selected stores.
Published at Wed, 25 Sep 2019 10:30:00 +0000