The 2020 Flu Vaccine will be available free of charge (from late September) to all patients in an at-risk group and children between 2-12 years old.
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.
We are urging people in at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine. We strongly recommend the vaccine if you:
- are 65 years of age and over
- are pregnant
- are a child or adult with a long-term health condition
- work in healthcare
- are a carer or household contact of anyone at increased medical risk of flu
- live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl
You should not get the flu vaccine if you have had a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose or any part of the vaccine. Don’t get the flu vaccine if you are taking medicines called combination checkpoint inhibitors (e.g. ipilimumab plus nivolumab).
Vaccination should be re-scheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.
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