Seasonal Flu Vaccination
Flu (also known as influenza) is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. It spreads rapidly through small droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. For most people, flu is unpleasant but not serious. You will usually recover within a week.
Studies have shown that flu vaccines provide effective protection against the flu, although protection may not be complete and may vary between people. Protection from the vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains change over time. Therefore, new vaccines are made each year and people at risk of flu are encouraged to be vaccinated every year.
The flu vaccination is offered to people in at-risk groups. These people are at greater risk of developing serious complications if they catch flu, such as pregnant women and elderly people.
January 2018 Update
Public Health England has advised us that there is an increase in flu (influenza) rates in the South West. There is one particular strain of influenza (influenza B - B.Yamagata lineage) that is circulating, which the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine does not provide protection against. A number of care homes and hospitals across the South West have been affected by localised outbreaks.
Overton Park has been administering the quadrivalent vaccine, which does protect against this strain of flu. The Fluenz intranasal immunisation given to children also provides protection.
We do not know which vaccine pharmacies are using, and our patients who have been invited to receive the flu vaccination because of ongoing conditions, age or occupation (carers) are advised to book an appointment to receive it.
Advice from Public Health England
Most cases of flu can be treated effectively at home. Patients are encouraged to self-care, seek advice on treating symptoms via reputable on-line resources such as NHS Choices, or to seek advice from a local Pharmacist before contacting the GP
Patients are advised to:
• rest and sleep.
• keep warm
• take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains.
• drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
More information can be found on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu or via 111
Who will give the children's flu vaccination?
Children aged two and three will be given the vaccination at their general practice, usually by the practice nurse.
Children who are 4 years old are also eligible for flu vaccination provided they were 3 years old on 31 August 2017. These children should be offered the vaccination at their general practice.
Children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four will be offered their vaccination in school.
Children who are home educated will also be offered the vaccine, provided they are in an eligible school age group. Parents can obtain information about arrangements from their local NHS England Public Health Commissioning team.
Children between the ages of six months and two years who are at high risk because they suffer with long-term health conditions such as diabetes are offered the annual flu jab, usually at their GP surgery.