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.
This years influenza campaign is now under way. There are some additions this year to the patients that are eligible for a flu vaccination.
From September 1st 2016, the shingles vaccine is routinely available to people aged 70 and 78. You become eligible for the vaccine on the first day of September 2016 after you've turned 70 and 78 and remain so until the last day of August 2017.
In addition, anyone who was eligible for immunisation in the previous three years of the programme but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday. This includes:
- people aged 71, 72 and 73 on 1st September 2016
- people aged 79 on 1st September 2016
The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS if you are aged 80 or over.