It’s important that we take flu vaccinations seriously in the UK. The influenza virus is not just catching a cold; it’s much, much worse. Flu can be a lethal disease and should be treated accordingly.
Flu vaccines become available from mid September for those aged over 6 months in the UK. As flu vaccines take between 7-21 days to become effective in your system, the sooner you have yours the better.
Why have a flu vaccine?
Having a flu vaccine gives you a better chance of avoiding getting the flu this year and of passing it on to others. In this sense it is a win-win. Good for you and good for others, even if you aren’t worried you can consider it a service to your community to have the vaccine.
Chris Cook reported in the Guardian that last year even though the effectiveness of the flu vaccine was higher than in previous years. The death rate especially in older people of those catching the flu was high.
You can read the article here Guardian Flu article by Chris Cook
Staying protected from flu
Staying protected with a vaccine is the best way to try to protect your health and prevent this from being the case in the coming winter.
People who are considered ‘at risk’ by the NHS will be offered a vaccine on the NHS but those not considered at risk won’t be.
‘At risk’ categories include:
- Being aged 65 and over (or will turn 65 by 31 March 2016)
- Being pregnant
- Have a certain medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease
- Caring for someone whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
As a doctor I would recommend that you get vaccinated whether you are in an at risk group or not. Even if you aren’t in an NHS defined ‘at risk’ group you can still catch the flu and the symptoms can be very severe.
Our specialist GPs can provide the right advice, make sure your needs are assessed and administer the flu vaccine to you at a time of day that suits your needs. The influenza vaccine costs £45.
The flu vaccine for children in 2016
This year the flu vaccine for children will be given as a nasal spray and will be available on the NHS to children ages 2,3,4 and in years reception one and two.
If you child aged between 6 months and 2 years old we can still offer the flu vaccination privately by way of an injection. If your child is in year three or above and not in an NHS defined ‘at risk’ category you will need to book them a flu vaccine privately. An injection costs £45 and the nasal spray which can be used on those aged two and over costs £75.
At Southdowns private healthcare our experienced GPs can administer Flu Vaccine to children.
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