The Flu Jab

What is the Flu?

Flu is a common infectious viral illness which is spread by coughs and sneezes. This is most common during the winter period known as seasonal flu but can also be contracted in the summer months however this is less likely than the winter months. The flu is different to a common cold as it is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms tend to begin more suddenly, more severely and last longer than a cold.

What are the Symptoms of the Flu?

• Fever

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Dry, chesty cough

• General aches and pains

• Cold like symptoms such as blocked nose, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat

• Exhaustion and feeling unwell staying in bed until you feel better

The flu virus is contained in millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. These droplets spread about one metre. They hang suspended in the air for a while before landing on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.

Anyone who breathes in the droplets can catch the flu; the virus can also be caught by touching surfaces that have droplets and then touching your nose and mouth area. In order to prevent the spread of the flu virus you should have good hygiene practices such as washing your hands and cleaning any surfaces which you come into contact with. Covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze; and using tissues when you have a runny nose.

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How does the Flu Jab work?

The purpose of a flu jab is to enhance your immune system. This is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. Every year a new vaccine is developed containing different ingredients to defend against different strains of the flu.

Research indicates that you are less likely to catch the flu virus if you have the vaccination as a pose to if you don’t have the vaccination. The injected flu vaccine stimulates your body’s immune system to produce antibodies to attack the flu virus. The Antibodies are proteins that do recognise and fight off the germs, such as viruses, that have invaded your blood.

If you’re exposed to the flu virus after having the flu vaccine; your body will immediately recognise the virus and produce antibodies immediately to fight/get rid of the infection. This may take up to 10 to 14 days for your immunity to build up fully after you have had the flu shot.

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What are the side effects of the Flu Jab? 

• Mild fever

• Aching muscles in area where the flu jab was injected

• Swelling of area where the flu jab was injected

• Bruising

• Cold like symptoms

How can patients can get their flu jab?

• GP Surgery

• Local Chemists/Pharmacies

• Nasal Spray is a way of administrating the flu jab for Children aged 2 and 3

• ASDA - £7 for a flu vaccination

• Boots - £12.99 for a flu vaccination

• Lloyds Pharmacy - £11.50 for a flu vaccination

• Superdrug - £9.99 for a flu vaccination

• Tesco - £9 for a flu vaccination

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Who is eligible for the flu jab?

• If you are aged 65 and over you may be eligible to receive the flu jab for free.

• If you are under the age of 18 with a certain health condition such as diabetes or asthma then you may be eligible to receive the flu jab for free.

• If you are pregnant then you may be eligible to receive the flu jab for free.

What other alternatives are there other than the flu jab?

One alternative to the flu jab in Tamiflu. Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) is an oral medication used for treating and preventing influenza 'the flu'. Tamiflu suppresses and decreases the spread of influenza A and B viruses, the viruses responsible for the flu.



To find out more information about the flu jab visit;