In a typical year, flu season starts in the autumn and reaches through to the winter, when the weather gets colder, the nights are longer, and influenza has an easier time of spreading throughout the population. While no one likes the common cold, flu is generally a much worse experience – bringing with it coughing, sniffling, fever, tiredness, sneezing, feelings of nausea, and several other symptoms.
As we start to return to normality after so many lockdowns due to COVID-19, it can be easy to forget that we’ll be subject to cold and flu. However if you were, or are high-risk for COVID-19, you may also be at high risk from flu viruses. The best way to protect yourself from these unpleasant symptoms is to get vaccinated. Let’s take a look at what the flu vaccine does, who should get it, and how you can get your flu vaccine in Redditch and Bishop Auckland.
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What does the flu vaccine do?
The flu vaccine offers recipients the best protection against influenza, protecting against the most prevalent flu viruses. If someone catches the flu after being vaccinated, it will likely be less severe and last a shorter time than if they hadn’t been vaccinated. It can take your body up to 10-14 days to use the vaccine to immunise you against the most prevalent flu viruses, so you should get the flu vaccine at the end of the summer or in early autumn.
Should I get the flu vaccine?
It’s a good idea for anyone to get the flu vaccine, simply because it can protect you from a lot of unpleasant symptoms. Unfortunately, we don’t have medicine that can kill a virus, like antibiotics kill bacterial infections, so it’s all up to your immune system to fight the virus. The vaccine is essentially like a how-to guide on how to kill the virus for your body.
Flu symptoms can be mild, like the common cold, or they can be worse, leading to ear infections, sinusitis, pneumonia, and even sepsis in the right conditions. If you meet any of the following criteria, you should consider getting a flu vaccine this flu season:
– Are aged 50 or over, or under five years old
– Are pregnant
– Have certain health conditions such as heart conditions, sickle cell disease, neurological conditions like Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, and HIV/ AIDS
– Are in long-stay residential care
– Are a frontline health or social care worker
– Are aged 18 and under and receive aspirin therapy
– You are the main carer for someone vulnerable who may be at risk if you become unwell
– Live with someone on the NHS shielded patient list
– Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher (calculate your BMI here)
Where can I get the flu vaccine?
You can get your flu vaccine at your local Knights Pharmacy branch; if there is no Knights Pharmacy branch near you, you can find the nearest pharmacy offering NHS vaccines here.
Find your nearest pharmacy below!
Why wait to protect yourself? Book in for your flu vaccine in Redditch and Bishop Auckland today!