Flu (also known as influenza) is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. It spreads rapidly through small droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. For most people, flu is unpleasant but not serious. You will usually recover within a week.
Studies have shown that flu vaccines provide effective protection against the flu, although protection may not be complete and may vary between people. Protection from the vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains change over time. Therefore, new vaccines are made each year and people at risk of flu are encouraged to be vaccinated every year.
The flu vaccination is offered to people in at-risk groups. These people are at greater risk of developing serious complications if they catch flu, such as pregnant women and elderly people.
Influenza Vaccine as recommended by the
Department of Health for those:
- aged 65 years and over
- aged over 6 months in a clinical risk group*
- living in long-stay residential care homes or
other long-stay facilities where rapid spread is
likely (not prisons, youth offender units,
university halls of residence etc)
- all pregnant women
- who receive carer’s allowance or are the main
carer for an elderly or disabled person whose
welfare is at risk if the carer falls ill (at the
- household contacts of immunocompromised
- Health and social care staff directly involved in
the care of their patients or clients
TELL YOUR HELATHCARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE YOUR VACCINATION IF:
- You feel unwell, have a high temperature, or an infection.
- You are allergic to either eggs or chicken.
- You have had an reaction to a previous flu jab
- You are allergic to anything else (including antibiotics)