With the winter season fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your flu vaccination. The flu vaccine is quick, easy and a great step to take to protect your health, or the health of a clinically vulnerable loved one.
Who is Eligible for a Free Flu Vaccination?
If you’re in a group considered to be at an elevated risk of developing serious illness as a result of the flu, you may be invited for a free flu vaccination. Currently, the flu vaccine is offered to:
– Anyone aged 50 or over
– Individuals with certain health conditions (including things like asthma, diabetes and heart disease)
– People who are pregnant
– People in long-term residential care
– People who care for someone who is at risk (for example an elderly person or someone with a disability that puts them at risk)
– Frontline health and social care workers
This year, the flu vaccination will also be offered to those who live with someone who is at high risk from COVID-19 and is on the NHS shielded patient list.
How Does the Flu Vaccination Work?
The flu vaccination works in a very similar way to many other vaccines. When you receive the vaccine, your body is exposed to non-dangerous parts of the flu virus. This triggers an immune response, during which your body produces antibodies that fit the virus perfectly.
These antibodies are ‘memorised’, meaning that if you are exposed to the flu in the future, your antibodies are ready and waiting to destroy those flu-causing pathogens as quickly as possible. This quicker response means your body should be better able to fight off the flu before you develop symptoms. If you do get symptoms, they will likely be less severe than if you hadn’t been vaccinated.
Looking to ease your flu symptoms? Check out our ultimate guide here:
Why is Getting the Flu Vaccination More Important Than Ever This Year?
This winter, hospitals are likely to be under more stress than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The more people who take up their opportunity to have the flu vaccination, the less pressure there will be on the NHS from the combined effects of seasonal flu and COVID-19.
From a personal perspective, research has shown that getting flu and COVID-19 at the same time increases your risk of serious illness. Ensuring you’re vaccinated against both diseases is the most effective way to reduce this risk. You can find out more about when and why you need the vaccine here:
Where can I get my Flu Vaccination in Redditch and Bishop Auckland?
Wherever you are in the UK, there are three main places you can go to receive your flu vaccination. Usually, you will be able to book your flu vaccination with your local GP, and if you’re pregnant, you should be able to get it from your midwifery service.
Alternatively, you could head to your local pharmacy. If there is no Knights Pharmacy branch near you, you can find the nearest pharmacy offering NHS vaccines here. We offer flu vaccinations at our pharmacies in Redditch and Bishop Auckland and all across the UK. Our team will be happy to provide advice or answer any questions you may have before making your appointment.