As autumn approaches in the coming months, now is the time to start thinking about getting the annual flu jab. This year, the free jab will be offered to more people amidst concerns around the still-present coronavirus.
The NHS flu programme in England typically offers the flu vaccine to those over the age of 65, pregnant women and those with existing health conditions or weakened immune systems. These groups will remain a high priority this year, while the programme will also be extended to reach out to more people.
In a typical winter, flu is one of the biggest health concerns for many older and vulnerable people. With the additional threat of coronavirus this year, the public are being advised to take extra care to avoid both of these diseases. The government hopes for as many people as possible to receive the flu jab to reduce the risk of caregivers and healthcare workers coming under immense pressure.
We will be holding our Flu Clinics over the next few months. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, they will operate in a slightly different way to previous years to protect our patients and staff and they are as follows:
Free annual influenza vaccination Saturday flu clinics will be held on 12th & 19th September. This clinic will operate on a first come first served basis.
Other clinics will shortly become available. You can ask reception for details.
Patients under 18
For patients under the age of 18 flu vaccinations are given in the form of an intranasal spray. We are unable to give the intranasal sprays on the Saturday clinics. We will notify you when they arrive.
If you are either over 65 or will turn 65 before 31st March 2021 or are in the at risk groups below you are eligible for a free vaccination:
- Pregnant women
- Everyone aged 65 and over
- People with caring responsibilities (registered carer)
- Anyone living with a long term medical condition
Chronic respiratory diseases:
- Asthma that requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital Admission in the past
- COPD, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
Chronic neurological conditions such as:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Motor neurone disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
- A learning disability
- Problems with spleen, such as sickle cell disease
- A weakened Immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- Being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
We are trying to ensure all patients in these groups who are considered more at risk from complications with flu are vaccinated against the influenza virus. This is in line with recommendations from the chief medical officer and the views of many experts.
We are not able to offer the vaccination to anyone who is not eligible. Those aged 50-64 years old will be eligible for the flu vaccine in November this year, but not before that time.
If you live in the household of a patient of ours who has been shielding due to COVID-19, you can ask your own doctors surgery for a flu vaccination from November, but not before that time.
Please let us know if you do not wish to have the flu vaccination.
On the day of your appointment
Flu vaccinations will be managed at the front doors just inside our reception waiting area and the front doors will remain open.
This is to help provide a well-aired and socially distance environment. Please make an appointment to have your flu vaccination; do not just turn up.
In line with our COVID-19 Safe policy, flu clinics will be staffed by our reception team. Follow their guidance to ensure a safe, efficient experience. Hand sanitizing will be in operation between each patient to ensure we are COVID-19 safe.
It is essential that you:
- Wear a face mask when attending
- Be on time for your appointment
- Try and attend alone or with a maximum of one carer if required
- Wear clothing which makes it easy for you to expose your left shoulder
- Maintain social distancing and follow the markers and one way in/out arrows
Your safety and that of our staff is our top priority.
External websites for further information: