Stay sharp this winter - get a flu jab!
Facts about influenza
Honestly, the jab doesn't
For the majority of people who catch it flu is
unpleasant, but for some it can lead to chest infections, severe
complications and death. Globally, seasonal flu accounts for about
three to five million causes of severe illness annually and between
250,000 and 500,000 deaths.
How safe is the vaccine?
The risk of having a serious (anaphylactic)
reaction to the seasonal flu vaccine is less than one in a million:
much lower than the risk of getting seriously ill from having the
flu itself. If you have had a serious allergic reaction
(anaphylaxis) to a flu vaccine before, please talk to a clinician
before getting vaccinated. If you have a serious allergic reaction
(anaphylaxis) to hens' eggs, you should enquire about vaccines with
a very low egg content and be vaccinated under clinical
supervision. The vaccine is one of the
safest in the world. Seasonal flu vaccine
is given to millions of people in the UK each year. The specific
strains of flu that are included may change from one year to the
next but vaccines are still thoroughly tested and are
Will the jab give me flu?
The flu jab can't give you the
flu. It is impossible to get flu from the
having the flu jab because the vaccine doesn't contain live
viruses. A very small number of people experience side effects such
as aching muscles, but this is simply the immune system responding
to the vaccine. The side effects of the
vaccination aren't bad For the most part,
seasonal flu vaccine side effects are mild or often non-existent.
The most common side effect is soreness around the site of the
injection and occasionally aching muscles. These symptoms are a lot
less debilitating than having flu. Health
professionals need to protect patients
Vaccination isn't just about keeping yourself safe,
it's about protecting your colleagues, your family and your
patients. You can carry and pass the virus on to others without
having any symptoms yourself, so even if you consider yourself
healthy, you might be risking the lives of others.
You need the vaccine every year
If you were vaccinated last year you helped to fight
the flu and took an extra step towards excellent patient care.
Please do the same again this year. You won't be protected against
the new strains of circulating flu.
Vaccination works The World Health
Organization cites clean water and vaccination as the two
interventions that have the greatest impact on public health -
vaccination works. Trivalent seasonal influenza vaccines generally
give 60-80 per cent protection against infection.
Pregnant women can be vaccinated
Pregnant women can have the flu vaccination at any
stage of their pregnancy. Having the vaccination when pregnant is
beneficial and helps protect the baby from flu over the first few
months of life. Healthy diets won't
prevent flu Your diet could well be
helping to boost your immune system, but eating well will not
protect you from flu. The best way to protect yourself, family and
patients against flu is by getting the flu jab.
Hand washing is very important, but it won't stop
flu It is vital to follow universal
infection prevention procedures and wash your hands, but once flu
has been passed on to your family, colleagues or your patients,
clean hands won't keep flu at bay. Book your flu jab as soon as
possible, and encourage those around you to do the
Anyone can get
One of the most common reasons for not getting vaccinated
is "I've never had flu before". There's no such thing as natural
immunity to influenza; with new strains circulating this year, it's
best to get vaccinated against flu.