Extension of the Flu Programme to 50-64 year olds

We are delighted to be able to extend the flu programme to our patients who are aged 50 - 64 years.

For those in the at risk groups (65 and over, aged 2-4, long term conditions, carers, pregnancy and so on), there is still time to book your flu vaccine.

The annual flu jab is the best protection against this winter virus and with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has never been as important for those who would particularly benefit to ensure that they have the flu vaccine.

These are some of the reasons why:

  • Protect yourself: the flu jab is safe and effective. It has been shown to reduce the severity of those who do still catch the virus, reducing hospital admissions and deaths.
  • Protect each other: The more people who have the flu jab (particularly children aged 2 – 10, carers, and those in care homes), the less likely they are to pass it on to those who might be vulnerable.
  • Protect against self isolation: mild COVID, colds and mild flu all display the same symptoms. Reducing the amount of circulating flu will reduce the number of people having to self isolate just because they have flu
  • Protect the NHS. The NHS is set up to manage the annual winter pressures that the flu season causes. But, if there is a second wave of coronavirus cases in the UK as other countries are seeing, reducing the number of flu cases will reduce the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed by the combination of the flu and COVID hitting at the same time.

For those that don’t meet the criteria to have a flu jab free on the NHS, continuing to follow the COVID “rules”, such as social distancing  will also help in the fight against flu this winter.

But COVID means that this year we have had to do things differently, which has resulted in the largest uptake of flu ever, in the safest way possible.

To help us keep everyone safe and make the flu run clinics run smoothly, there are a few things we ask our patients:

  • Book an appointment : To help ensure social distancing, all our flu clinics are pre-bookable. 
  • Book online (or phone in an afternoon) Booking online will give you the greatest choice of flu appointments and reduce pressure on the phone lines. If you are not already registered for our online services, why not try the NHS App available from App Store or Google Play. Its simple to download and get started (though note that if you want access to your medical record you will need to bring ID to the practice
  • Wear a short sleeved top : For the flu clinics, if the weather allows, wear a light jacket that can be easily removed, and a short sleeved top underneath. This will help keep the flu clinics moving. If this isn’t going to be possible, please tell reception that you need extra time and they will book you into a slightly longer slot.
  • Arrive on time : Don’t arrive more than 5 minutes early for your flu clinic appointment. If you do you may be asked to wait in the car park until your appointment time to ensure we maintain social distancing in the building
  • Leave Time to Park If you can, please use walk or cycle to the clinic to avoid congestion in the car park . For safety, we will close part of the car park to allow for the increased foot traffic (to date we have not had to queue outside, but again for COVID security, we need to make sure that we have that option. Please do be good neighbours and park in the surrounding area considerately.

Who should not be vaccinated

Let the doctor or nurse know if you have had a serious allergy to egg; we will order you a special vaccine. If you have a fever, it is probably wise to delay the vaccine until you have recovered.

Side Effects

Injection: Some people have a mild temperature or muscle aches for a few days after the vaccine. You may also be sore at the site of the injection. Serious side effects, such as allergic reactions are extremely rare. The injection form does not contain any live virus; you cannot catch the flu from it.

Nasal Spray: Wherever stocks allow, we will be offering the nasal spray vaccine for those aged 2-17 years. In addition to mild aches and pains, the nasal spray can cause a runny nose for a couple of days. Occasionally the flu vaccine can cause a mild temperature; in small children temperature fits have been reported (these are harmless and do not cause epilepsy.)