How often should you have the flu vaccination?
The NHS is encouraging everyone over the age of 6 months to have a flu vaccination in the winter. Even if you are not at high risk due to age or other health complications such as asthma, the more people that have the vaccine, the easier it becomes to control the spread of the flu virus and support flu vaccine effectiveness.
Primary school children are now having the flu vaccine as they are one of the groups that spread viruses most and the category of eligible children also includes those aged 2-17 with long-term health conditions.
The influenza vaccine whether it is administered by nasal spray or injection is an annual vaccine. There are three types of the flu virus, Type A, Type B and Type C with the Type A virus the most serious and this group includes swine flu and other pandemic viruses. Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) changes the strains of flu virus in the influenza vaccine dose based on research which aims to predict the most likely strains in the winter ahead. That is why you have to have an annual vaccination as the viruses and the vaccines are constantly changing. The vaccination window is usually from September through to the following February.
Can the flu vaccine give you flu?
The injectable vaccine given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses which will not give you flu but stimulate your immune system to respond to any of the viruses if you encounter them. The child’s nasal spray flu vaccine contains live viruses but they are intentionally weakened and will not give the child flu.
If you are not within the eligibility criteria for a free flu jab then the Pearl Chemist Group can offer flu vaccinations in Earlsfield. We offer support and advice about managing your potential risk of flu, our website explains more www.pearlchemistgroup.co.uk