People urged to get flu vaccine

Date published: 04 October 2019

People are urged to get the free flu vaccine if offered it, even if they feel fit and healthy. The vaccine offers protection against a number of viruses which are expected to circulate this winter.

Important to get vaccinated

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness, and in some cases, very dangerous.

The flu virus spreads easily and quickly through the air when people cough and sneeze without covering their nose and mouth.

GPs are offering flu vaccination to:

  • everyone over 65
  • pregnant women
  • carers at home
  • people under 65 with an underlying health condition

The vaccine changes each year to cover the strains which are likely to be around over the course of the flu season, so it's important to get immunised every year.

There are two vaccines to improve the protection offered to those at risk:

  • a vaccine for people aged 65 and over, which has been specifically designed to increase immunity in this age group
  • a vaccine for people aged under 65 who have underlying health conditions and pregnant women

The vaccine does not give people the flu.

You can find out more at this link:

Getting the vaccine

Everyone who is eligible for the vaccine should make themselves aware of their own GP surgery’s flu vaccination arrangements. 

If you have any queries, you should contact your GP directly.

As it takes approximately two weeks following vaccination to develop maximum protection against flu, it's important to get vaccinated early.

If you wait until flu starts circulating, it may be too late for the vaccine to protect you.

Children

Because young children don’t always cover their noses or mouths, they can spread the flu virus very quickly, making them ‘super-spreaders’. 

It's important that they get the vaccine to help protect them and those around them, including vulnerable members of their family.

Pre-school children aged two years or over on 1 September 2019 can  get the vaccine at their GP’s surgery.

Primary school children will be offered it at school by the school health service.

The kids’ vaccine comes in the form of a quick, painless spray up the nose rather than an injection.

You can find out more on the flu vaccine for children page.

Flu symptoms

The same flu symptoms are experienced by both adults and children:

  • fever
  • chills
  • aching muscles and joints
  • headache
  • extreme tiredness 

These symptoms can last between two and eight days and, for some, can lead to serious illness and result in a stay in hospital.

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