Column: Having a flu vaccination is a must ahead of winter months
Pharmacies and GPs across Derbyshire are now offering appointments for flu jabs for those eligible to receive it through the NHS, saysJackie Buxton, chief officer of Community Pharmacy Derbyshire.
The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS for people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu. It gives you the best protection against flu and stops it spreading to other people who may be at risk of serious health problems if they catch it.
The best time to get the jab is early autumn or early winter before flu starts to spread, but you can have it later in the season.
This winter it is expected that more people are likely to get the flu. This is because fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Plus, if you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time you are more likely to get seriously ill. Getting vaccinated for flu and Covid-19 protects you and also friends, family and loved ones who may be more vulnerable to these illnesses.
The flu vaccine is available free on the NHS to people who:
Are 50 and over, including those who will be 50 by 31 March 2022 Have certain health conditions (see the list below) Are pregnant Are in long-stay residential care Receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick Live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) Frontline health or social care workers
Talk to your pharmacist or GP surgery if you have a long-term condition. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get the flu.
If you are entitled to a flu vaccination on the NHS, you can get it at your GP surgery, local pharmacy, midwifery service if you are pregnant or at a scheduled hospital appointment.
Community pharmacies are often open evenings and weekends, enabling you to get your jab at a time that works for you. If you have questions about the vaccine, you can also discuss these with your pharmacist.
And, if you do choose to have your vaccination at your local pharmacy, you do not have to tell the GP surgery – this will be done for you.
This vaccination is our best defence against flu, but please pop into your local pharmacy if you do have questions or concerns. We are always available to listen and offer informed advice.
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