Flu (or Influenza as it is known) is a common viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes which can be prevented with a flu jab.
Did you know that every year the flu vaccine changes?
Did you know that you can get flu jabs at your local Peak Pharmacy?
Want to get a flu jab? Peak Pharmacy can help just speak with one of our in-store Flu Fighters. We are pleased to announce the service is now available in all Peak Pharmacies priced at just £12 or FREE if you are in an at-risk group.
Want to know more, then read on to learn about the Flu and the Flu Vaccine. Near the bottom of the page, we have a frequently asked question section to help answer any questions you have, separating Flu FACTS from Flu FICTION.
Flu Jab Overview
How long is a course: Single-dose
When should I get vaccinated: Each Autumn around September or October.
Booster doses: Not required, but vaccination should be had every winter.
How it is given: Injection in the upper arm
Will it give me Flu: No
Side Effects: Usually mild. Expect slight fevers and injection site reactions like redness, swelling and tenderness which usually settle after a few days.
Special groups eg Children: This vaccine can be administered to adults and children from 9 years upwards
Prices from: FREE if eligible on the NHS or just £12 if a private service is required.
What is Flu?
Influenza, commonly known as Flu can be very unpleasant, but you’ll usually begin to feel better within about a week. However, it can be serious for some people, such as those with long-term medical conditions or people aged over 65. You can reduce your risk of developing flu by having a flu jab every year and our team at Peak Pharmacy are here to help you get vaccinated.
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- difficulty sleeping
- a sore throat
- feeling tired or exhausted
- a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- a dry cough
- a headache
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick and being sick
Sometimes people struggle to spot the difference between cold and flu, and it can be difficult as the symptoms are similar, but the main differences are:
|Appears quickly within a few hours||Appears gradually|
|Affects more than just your nose and throat||Affects mainly your nose and throat|
|Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal||Makes you feel unwell, but you’re OK to carry on as normal (for example, go to work)|
For more information about flu see NHS Choices.
The Flu Jab
The Flu jab is a vaccine given in Autumn every year before Winter starts to give you protection against the flu. As you have read above Flu is an unpleasant illness for most, but can be fatal to others.
What’s the difference between the flu vaccine and the flu jab? Nothing. The flu jab is just another way of saying Flu Vaccine. Whether you call it a flu jab or a flu vaccine you will receive a quick and relatively painless injection to help prevent the spread of the Flu.
Most of our pharmacies offer a seasonal influenza vaccination service from September to March each year which is given by our trained pharmacists without the need to see your GP. Some patients may even get a FREE flu jab on the NHS!
Not eligible, well don’t worry we can provide you with the same vaccine but for a small charge of just £12 with no need to book an appointment.
Patients are eligible for a FREE NHS vaccine if they are:
- carers aged 18 or over; or
- social care workers;
- a pregnant woman (including those who become pregnant during the flu season);
- asplenia (no spleen) or splenic dysfunction;
- chronic liver disease;
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure;
- aged from 18 to less than 50 years of age with one or more of the following medical conditions:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis;
- chronic kidney disease at stages three, four or five;
- chronic neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability;
- immunosuppression, a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment);
- morbid obesity
- aged 18 or over living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities;
- hospice workers;
- household contacts of immunocompromised individuals who are aged 18 or over.
Are you a local employer? You may be interested in getting your staff vaccinated in the workplace. Read about our workplace flu service and get in touch for further information.
Flu and Flu Jab Frequently Asked Questions
Sorting flu fact from flu Fiction ......
Will face masks prevent or reduce the transmission of flu?
At this stage, I don’t think there is a conclusive answer to this question, but we know that face coverings are essential in the ongoing battle against Coronavirus (COVID-19). It would be reasonable to assume that wearing a face mask in enclosed areas through the peak flu transmission seasons may help to reduce your risk of both COVID-19 and potentially Flu.
Why is the flu serious?
Flu spreads easily and can cause serious illnesses which may need to be treated in the hospital. There are outbreaks every year, usually in the winter months of December to February. Flu is not the same as a bad cold. It causes many deaths every year.
Does the vaccine work?
Yes, the vaccine usually prevents flu in 4 to 6 people in every 10 who have it. Flu viruses are constantly changing, the vaccine is changed each year to match the new flu viruses.
How will I know if I have flu?
When people get the flu they tend to become ill quite quickly. Symptoms include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, often with a cough and sore throat. Often people who get the flu feel so ill they need to stay in bed for a few days.
What should I do if I get the flu?
Lots of people ask how to get rid of the flu, but the best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water. You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches if necessary.
Use a tissue when you sneeze or cough and wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser to help stop flu spreading. Antibiotics won’t help.
There are medicines called antivirals that can be given to those most at risk from flu. These may help if taken within 2 days of the start of the illness. If you are at increased risk of flu and its complications and think you may have it, you should talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist, urgently. If you are in a risk group, get flu and haven’t had the vaccine this flu season, you should have it as soon as you are feeling better. This will protect you against other types of flu.
What harm can the flu do?
Flu can lead to serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia which may need hospital treatment. Flu is more serious if you have certain long-term illnesses, are pregnant or are 65 years of age or older. In a normal winter, thousands of people will die from flu-related illnesses in the UK.
I had a flu vaccine last year. Do I need one this year?
Yes. Seasonal flu strains vary year to year so it is important to make sure you are up to date!
Is there anyone who should not have a flu vaccine?
There are very few people who cannot have a flu vaccine. People who have previously had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine (or any part of it) should not have that flu vaccine again. Tell the nurse or doctor if you have a serious egg allergy. You can still be vaccinated but they need to know because some flu vaccines may not be suitable and a very small number of people should have their flu vaccine in the hospital. People who are unwell with a high temperature should delay vaccination until they are feeling better. A runny nose, cough or other minor illness are not reasons to delay a flu vaccination.
Will I get any side effects?
Flu vaccines are very safe. After having the vaccine which is given by injection into the upper arm, some people get a slight temperature, feel tired, have a headache, or have aching muscles for a day or two. After the injection, your arm may be a bit red and sore. Other side effects are very rare. Flu vaccines are quick and safe and could prevent weeks of serious illness.
Will the flu vaccine give me the flu?
No, the flu vaccine will not give you flu but occasionally people can feel a little poorly a few days after vaccination. This is normal, but not very common.
Will the flu vaccine protect me completely?
The vaccine usually offers good protection against flu in the flu season it is given. Protection starts around two weeks after the vaccination. You may still get flu even after vaccination but often with milder symptoms. Flu vaccines do not protect against colds and other flu-like illnesses.
Can I have the flu jab during pregnancy?
Yes. We would highly recommend that you do. Flu during pregnancy can be very bad for you and your baby. The flu vaccine is not live and nor can it cause flu, and is therefore safe like most other inactivated vaccines for use during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, then your midwife will no doubt be in touch to sort this out for you.
What do I need to do next?
If you are in any of the groups recommended to have a free flu vaccine, you can have it at your local Peak Pharmacy or GP practice. If you are not you can still receive the vaccination privately. Just speak to your local Peak Pharmacy Flu Fighters for further information.