Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it’s sometimes called seasonal flu. It’s a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly.
Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.
The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.
How do we protect against flu?
Flu is unpredictable. The vaccine provides the best protection
available against a virus that can cause severe illness. The most likely
viruses that will cause flu are identified in advance of the flu season
and vaccines are then made to match them as closely as possible.
The vaccines are given in the autumn ideally before flu starts
circulating. During the last ten years the vaccine has generally
been a good match for the circulating strains.
Summary of those who are
recommended to have the flu vaccine
• everyone aged 65 and over
• everyone under 65 years of age who has a medical
condition listed on page 4, including children and
babies over six months of age
• all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
• all two- and three- year-old children
(provided they were aged two or three years old
on 31 August of the current flu season)
• all children in primary school
• all Year 7 secondary school-aged children
• everyone living in a residential or nursing home
• everyone who cares for an older or disabled person
• household contacts of anyone on the NHS Shielded
• all frontline health and social care workers
Will the flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?
The flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19. But it will
help protect you against flu, which is an unpleasant and potentially
serious infection that can cause complications leading to hospital
admission. Helping to protect against flu is particularly important
with COVID-19 in circulation because people vulnerable to
COVID-19 are also at risk of complications from flu.
We are running flu clinics throughout September and October, please contact the surgery to book an appointment.