Flu Clinic 2021

This year we will be running our flu walk-in clinics behind the surgery via the car park.  We are expecting a huge increase in attendance by patients for their flu jab, as well as the need to administer the vaccine whilst maintaining social distancing and clinicians being in PPE.

You will be sent a text message with the clinic details beforehand. Patients without a contact number will be sent a letter.

We currently have Flu Clinic scheduled for the following date:

  • Friday 10th September 9:00 to 18:30

Please note that the above clinic is a flu clinic only, we will be running joint clinics for flu and covid boosters as soon as the eligibility guidance has been confirmed.

                       *PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU HAVE ANY COVID SYMPTOMS*

  • You must wear a mask when you attend and maintain social distancing.
  • To help make the clinic run smoothly and on time try to wear short sleeves.
  • You may need to queue outside so please be prepared to stand in the cold or rain.
  • Children will only be seen at booked appointments – Please contact reception to arrange.
  • If you already have a face to face appointment at the GP surgery and you are eligible for a free flu vaccination then you don't need to book a separate flu vaccine appointment as the doctor or nurse will do it at the same time. Just make sure you remind them!

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.

Coronavirus update

Changes have been made to make sure it's safe for you to have the flu vaccine at GP surgeries and pharmacies. These changes include social distancing, hand washing and wearing protective equipment.
It's important to go to your appointments unless you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus.

Who is eligible for a free flu jab at the surgery?

Each year the flu kills on average 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more. There’s no “just” about it.
The flu virus spreads from person to person. Even amongst those not showing symptoms.
The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and those around you and it’s available for free to those most at risk.
A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for the following:

  • all children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021
  • those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
  • those aged 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • Pregnant women
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)/close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • Those living with a long-term health condition, such as:
    • a heart problem
    • respiratory conditions, such as asthma (needing steroid inhaler or tablets), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and bronchitis
    • kidney disease
    • liver disease
    • had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) ·
    • diabetes
    • a neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy ·
    • a learning disability
    • a problem with your spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed      
    • are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
    •  weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

    The flu is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater for people within the ‘at-risk’ groups. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to a stay in hospital, or even death. In this unprecedented year, it is vital that we do all we can to protect ourselves and others from the virus this winter. Find out more.

When can I have my flu jab?

We currently have Flu Clinics scheduled for the following dates:

  • Friday 10th September 9:00 to 18:30
  • Friday 17th September 9:00 to 18:30
  • Watch our Practice News page for future clinic dates.
  • Please contact the reception to book an appointment.
  • If you already have an appointment at the GP surgery and you are eligible for a free flu vaccination then you don't need to book a separate flu vaccine appointment as the doctor or nurse will do it at the same time. Just make sure you remind them!
  • To help make the clinic run smoothly and on time try to wear short sleeves!
  • Children will only be seen at booked appointments – Please contact reception to arrange!

Where can I get a free NHS flu jab?

  • Eligible individuals (as listed above) can choose to have their flu vaccination here in the practice.
  • You can also have it done at the pharmacy - please ask them to inform us, so that we can update your record.
  • your midwifery service if you're pregnant
  • Children aged 2 or 3 on the 31st August 2021 are eligible for the flu vaccine in the practice – please book an appointment with reception.
  • Children in reception class and Year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 will be offered their flu vaccination in school.

Different types of vaccine?

There are several types of injected flu vaccine. None of them contain live viruses so they cannot give you flu. If you're eligible for the flu vaccine on the NHS, you'll be offered one that's most effective for you, depending on your age:

  • adults aged 18 to 64 – there are different types, including low-egg and egg-free ones
  • adults aged 65 and over – the most common one contains an extra ingredient to help your immune system make a stronger response to the vaccine

Children aged between 6 months and 2 years who have a long-term health condition are offered an approved injected flu vaccine instead of the nasal spray vaccine.

Find out about the children's nasal spray flu vaccine

Talk to a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist for more information about these vaccines.

Who should not have the flu vaccine

Most adults can have the flu vaccine, but you should avoid it if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past. You may be at risk of an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine injection if you have an egg allergy. This is because some flu vaccines are made using eggs. Ask a GP or pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine.

If you're ill with a high temperature, it's best to wait until you're better before having the flu vaccine.

How effective is the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine gives the best protection against flu. Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although there's still a chance you might get flu.

If you do get flu after vaccination, it's likely to be milder and not last as long. Having the flu vaccine will also stop you spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems from flu.

It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work.

Flu vaccine side effects

Flu vaccines are very safe. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm. Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:

  • slightly raised temperature
  • muscle aches
  • sore arm where the needle went in – this is more likely to happen with the vaccine for people aged 65 and over

Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:

  • continue to move your arm regularly
  • take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – some people, including those who are pregnant, should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends it

Why do I keep getting text reminders when I have had my vaccine already? 

Please kindly inform us if you already had your flu vaccination. As there might be a delay from when you have your vaccine and us being informed which may mean a text message is sent after you have already had your jab.

What if I don't want a flu jab?

Whilst we strongly recommend that people get the flu vaccine, it is your decision. If you choose not to have it then please let us know as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are you considering not getting the flu vaccine this year? Or is there something about it that concerns you? Read below for more information on why it’s good to get vaccinated, and how to find out more.

Is the flu vaccination safe? The flu vaccination is safe and effective and must be given annually. It cannot give you the flu. It does not protect you from COVID-19 or seasonal coughs and colds, but it does give protection against the strains of flu virus that will be circulating this year. Adults usually receive the flu vaccination in injection form, and children usually receive a nasal spray.

When can I get the flu vaccination? We expect that the flu vaccination will be available from autumn 2021 onwards. You will be invited to book a vaccination appointment at around this time, but please contact your GP practice if not. It’s important that you have your vaccination as soon as possible.

Where can I get the flu vaccination? Many people will receive their flu vaccination at a GP surgery as usual. Others may go to a pharmacy or another location in their community. School-aged children will receive their vaccination from a trained health professional at school or in their community. Health professionals will also vaccinate care home staff and residents on-site.

Is it safe to attend appointments at health clinics? The NHS is doing everything it can to make sure that vaccinations are given in safe environments. All possible precautions will be taken to make sure you, and staff, are protected. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not attend your vaccination appointment but instead self-isolate and book a coronavirus test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling119. You can rebook your flu vaccination appointment at a later date.

How will I know if I have the flu or COVID-19? The flu virus and COVID-19 have symptoms which overlap, such a high temperature or persistent cough. It may be difficult to tell which virus you have. For this reason, it’s really important that you have a flu vaccination if you are eligible, and that you continue to follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing at nhs.uk/coronavirus if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Can you catch flu from the vaccine?  No, the vaccine contains an inactivated virus which cannot give you flu.

Does the flu vaccine cause serious side effects? Only one in a million people get serious side effects. Mild side effects such as soreness around the injection site and aching muscles are more common, but these are far less serious than the effects of contracting flu.

Is flu just like having a bad cold? Flu is a very serious illness which kills 11,000 people a year and hospitalises many more. It can lead to severe complications including pneumonia and organ failure.

Does the nasal vaccine/spray contain gelatine? Yes, the nasal vaccine contains a highly processed form of gelatine (porcine gelatine), which is used in a range of essential medicines. The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable so that the vaccine provides the best protection against flu. The nasal vaccine is offered to children, as it is more effective in the programme than the injected vaccine. This is because it is easier to administer and considered better at reducing the spread of flu to others, who may be more vulnerable to the complications of flu. However, if your child is at high risk from flu due to one or more medical conditions or treatments and can’t have the nasal flu vaccine, they should have the flu vaccine by injection. Some people may not accept the use of porcine gelatine in medical products. You should discuss your options with your nurse or doctor. 

I’ve been vaccinated before so do I need to do it again? The flu virus mutates constantly, and the vaccine is updated every year to counter the latest strains so it is important to get vaccinated annually.

I’m healthy. Do I need to get vaccinated? Flu can cause serious illness or death in healthy people. Getting vaccinated reduces your chance of catching flu by 40-60%.

I’m pregnant. Should I get vaccinated? The flu vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy, and is recommended for all pregnant women as they face a higher risk of developing complications from flu.