Bookings for the 2019 flu clinics are being taken for the following dates -
- Saturday 21st September Fully Booked
- Saturday 28th September 8.30am-12pm - slots available
- Saturday 12th October - 8.30am - 12pm - slots available
Other clinics will be available during the weekdays for those unable to attend on a Saturday or if you have an appointment with your GP or nurse ask them whilst you are there.
More clinics will be added as necessary
There are different vaccines depending on your age, this is to ensure that the vaccine most suited to a patients immune system is used.
6mths - 17years at risk, all 2-3 year olds - nasal flu spray
18-64 year olds who are at risk, please see the list below - Quadrivalent inactivated flu vaccine
65 years and over - Adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine
Public Health England are emphasising the need for patients most at risk, especially those over 75 to be vaccinated first.
- Patients over the age of 65 years
- Patients between the ages of 6 months and 65 years of age who have long term conditions or illnesses, such as
- Chronic respiratory diseases ie asthma, COPD, bronchitis
- Chronic heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic neurological disease
- morbidly obese (a BMI greater than 40)
- Patients who are pregnant or become pregnant during the flu season
- Anyone who is a carer
- Patients living in long-stay residential homes
- Young children aged 2 or 3 on the 1st September 2018
More clinics will be arranged as necessary, but if you are seeing your GP or nurse for another matter ask for your vaccination then.
It's not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses. Symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer.
You can catch flu all year round, but it is especially common in winter, which is why it is also known as "seasonal flu".
Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.
Flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.
When to see a doctor
If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there is usually no need to see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms.
The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.
You should see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and you:
- are aged 65 or over
- are pregnant
- have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease
- have a weakened immune system
This is because flu can be more serious for you, and your doctor may want to prescribe antiviral medication.
Antiviral medicine can lessen the symptoms of flu and shorten its duration, but treatment needs to begin soon after flu symptoms start for it to be effective.
Antibiotics are of no use in the treatment of flu because it is caused by a virus and not by bacteria.
How long does flu last?
If you have flu, you generally start to feel ill within a few days of being infected.
Symptoms peak after two to three days and you should begin to feel much better after a week or so, although you may feel tired for much longer.
You are usually infectious – that is, able to pass flu on to others – a day before your symptoms start and for a further five or six days. Children and people with weaker immune systems, such as cancer patients, may remain infectious for longer.
Elderly people and anyone with certain long-term medical conditions are more likely to have a bad case of flu, and are also more likely to develop a serious complication such as a chest infection.
In the UK, about 600 people a year die from a complication of seasonal flu. This rises to around 13,000 during an epidemic
Preventing the spread of flu
The flu virus is spread in small droplets of fluid coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. These droplets can travel a metre or so and infect anyone within range who breathes them in.
Flu can also spread if someone with the virus transfers it on their fingers. For example, if you have flu and you touch your nose or eyes and then touch someone else, you may pass the virus on to them.
Similarly, if you have flu and touch hard surfaces such as door handles with unwashed hands, other people who touch the surface after you can pick up the infection.
You can stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others by being careful with your hygiene. Always wash your hands regularly with soap and water, as well as:
- regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
- using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
You can also help stop the spread of flu by avoiding all unnecessary contact with other people while you're infectious. You should stay off work until you are no longer infectious and you're feeling better.