Influenza, or the flu, is a common virus which can be fatal to people with low immune systems. Each year, ‘flu season’ is protected against through recommended vaccination. With the 2019/2020 flu season fast approaching, here are five facts you need to know.
1. The NHS Will Provide Priority Flu Vaccines to ‘At Risk’ Groups
- Elderly people, or those over the age of 65, are considered most at risk from flu.
- The vaccine will also be offered to pregnant women and young children.
- People who work in health will also receive free shots. That includes social workers and frontline personnel.
- People with certain medical conditions and weakened immune systems can also receive shots.
- If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible, always ask your GP for advice.
- You can also get a flu jab even if you are not ‘at risk’.
Visit Streatham Flu Jabs
2. Flu Season Will Likely Begin in October
The timing of each ‘flu season’ can change. However, influenza typically spreads quickly during colder months of the year.
- It is likely that the 2019 flu season will start in October.
- However, the length of flu season can vary. A resistant strain may survive until early spring.
- You are more likely to be at risk from flu during the winter.
- It is recommended that you become vaccinated before the start of October.
- Make sure to book in at a local surgery if you are in an ‘at risk’ group.
3. Help is Always Available
For most people, influenza will result in mild illness. However, during flu season, people at risk will need extra care and support.
- If you are considered to be ‘at risk’ of deadly flu, ask your GP for advice.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water and try to eat well.
- During flu season, you can seek advice from your local surgery via phone.
- This is to minimise the spread of infection.
- In cases of dire need, a medical professional may be able to help you at home.
4. There Are Three Types of Vaccine
For the 2019 flu season, the NHS will continue to offer three vaccination types.
- An LAIV, or live attenuated quadrivalent vaccine, will be offered to eligible children.
- This vaccine is generally supplied in a nasal spray.
- At-risk adults and health workers will receive a QIV. This is also known as a quadrivalent injected vaccine and will be injected into your bloodstream.
- Adults aged 65 or older will receive a QIV or an aTIV (adjuvanted trivalent injected vaccine).
5. You Can Book Your Vaccination Now
If you are at risk of flu this season, it is crucial to act fast.
- Pharmacies and surgeries will already be booking slots for vaccinations.
- Make sure you contact your healthcare provider by the start of October.
- If your surgery is not yet offering injections, make sure to ask for further information.
- If you are unsure if you are in an ‘at risk’ group, always consult your pharmacist or GP as soon as possible.