The NHS provides free flu vaccinations to all patients aged 65 or over, and to all patients under 65 who are considered ‘at risk’. These are patients who are known to have one or more of a number of other diseases such as asthma or diabetes, for example, for whom flu is considered more serious if these patients contracted it. Other groups, such as pregnant women and carers, also qualify for the free vaccination. If you are unsure if you qualify please do ask.
As was the case last year, there are different vaccines recommended for different age groups. The recommended vaccine for older patients (categorised by the NHS as age 65 and over) is called adjuvanated trivalent; the ‘adjuvanated’ description just means that there is an added ingredient, a substance that occurs naturally in the human body, which helps the immune system react better to the vaccine. If you would like more information on this new vaccine you can download the NHS booklet here.
For further advice on what to do to protect yourself against this nasty illness please see the following BBC article.
At Harptree and Cameley we have now received our stocks of vaccines for all age groups and conditions, and we are already starting to vaccinate patients. We will be sending texts and e-mails to all eligible patients but please do get in touch at any time if you wish to book a flu jab. We will also very shortly be advertising a number of Flu clinics, including Saturdays.
If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged two or three years old, we are still waiting for our stocks of the Fluenz nasal spray that is the recommended protection for infants of that age.
Please note that while there have always been additional categories of patient who qualify for the free NHS jab, such as pregnant women and carers for example, the NHS has also extended the service to patients with learning disabilities, their family carers and any paid supporters they may have. If you have someone in your family with a learning disability, or care for someone with that condition, please do ask about your free vaccination.