Protect yourself this winter - get the flu vaccinePublished Friday, 25 September 2020
Public Heath England, working in partnership with NHS England, are urging people who are eligible to protect themselves and others by getting the free flu vaccine this winter.
The flu virus spreads from person to person, even amongst those not showing any symptoms. It’s easy for us to pass the virus on without knowing. Even if we’re healthy, we can still get flu and spread it to the people we care for. The vaccine is the best protection against what can be a serious illness.
Flu can be deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions. It kills 11,000 people and hospitalises tens of thousands more in England in an average year. It's different to the common cold. Symptoms include a high temperature, body aches and fatigue.
The free flu vaccination is offered to those who are at increased risk from the effects of the flu virus. This includes people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with long term health conditions. The NHS are also vaccinating children and household contacts of those on the patient list of the shielded for COVID-19. Check with your pharmacist or GP if you’re eligible for the free flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine is available at GP surgeries, pharmacies and may be offered in some hospital settings (such as through your midwife). Social distancing and safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you think you have flu, stay at home to avoid infecting others who may be more vulnerable and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 if you have an underlying health condition or feel really unwell.
Aside from having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of flu is to practice good hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and can help stop the spread of the virus to those around you.