Flu Vaccine Information 2020

Why is flu vaccine important?

Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.

Flu can be unpleasant, but if you’re otherwise healthy, it’ll usually clear up on its own within a week.

But flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:

  • anyone aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • children and adults with weakened immune systems
  • Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to help protect them.
Who should get the flu vaccine?

This year the flu vaccine is being offered on the NHS to:

  • adults 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • people living with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
  • children in primary school
  • children in year 7 (secondary school)
  • frontline health or social care workers

Later in the year, the flu vaccine may be given to people aged 50 to 64. More information will be available later in the autumn.

However, if you’re aged 50 to 64 and in an at-risk group, you should not delay having your flu vaccine.

If you are in one of these  groups additional information and resources can be found below or visit the NHS website.

If you are over 65 years of age you are more likely to get very poorly if you get flu. Having the flu injection means you are less likely to get seriously ill or pass flu on to a loved one who may also be more at risk.

You’re eligible for the free flu vaccine this year (2020 to 2021) if you’ll be aged 65 or over on 31 March 2021. That is, you were born on or before 31 March 1956.

So, if you’re currently 64 but will be 65 by 31 March 2021, you do qualify.

This year the NHS have produced a guide on the flu vaccine Who Should Have it and Why booklet_2020

Please phone your GP practice to book an appointment today

This year the flu vaccination is more important than ever as we want to reduce the chance of potentially vulnerable people getting COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.

People with long term, underlying health conditions, including diabetes, long term respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD, heart, kidney and liver disease, neurological conditions like Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, MS or cerebal palsy, spleen conditions, and diseases that weaken the immune system such as chemotherapy, and, being seriously overweight (BMI 40+)If you and/or a child in your household were advised to shield by a doctor or NHS England during the COVID-19 pandemic and were on the NHS Shielded Patient List.

It is very important that you and your household get a flu vaccination. Please contact your GP Practice to book it as soon as you can.

To protect you, this year you are entitled to a free flu vaccination, along with everyone who lives with you.

This is because you are at significantly increased risk of getting seriously ill from Coronavirus, should you catch it.
We want to keep you as well as possible this winter to help keep your immune system strong, including reducing your risk of catching the flu.

This year the NHS have produced a guide on the flu vaccine Who Should Have it and Why booklet_2020

Please phone your GP practice to book an appointment today

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

The children’s flu vaccine is offered as a yearly  to young children to help protect them against flu. Some of the key benefits are:

• No injection is needed. The vaccine comes in the form of a nasal spray so there are no needles involved
• Protect you, your family, and friends, especially those who have been shielding due to COVID19
• Flu can lead to you may having to take time off work or arranging alternative childcare

In the autumn/winter of 2020 to 2021, the vaccine will be available free on the NHS for eligible children, including:

  • children aged 2 or 3 on 31 August 2020 – that is, children born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018
  • all primary school children
  • all year 7 children (secondary school)children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions

For more information on the flu vaccination for children Protecting_Child_Against_Flu_DL_leaflet_2020

or visit the NHS Flu pages.

Hear from local GP Dr Jayne Davies on flu immunisation.

Please phone your GP practice to book an appointment today

Some people with a learning disability can get very ill if they get flu.

If you or someone you know has learning difficulties we have put together a easy read leaflet to explain why  getting the Flu jab is  so important and how to book an appointment.

Please print off and pass on where relevant.

Flu guide easy-read

Please phone your GP practice to book an appointment today

All pregnant women should have the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their babies. The flu vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy, from conception onwards.
Pregnant women benefit from the flu vaccine because it will:

•  reduce their risk of serious complications such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
•  reduce the risk of miscarriage or having a baby born too soon or with a low birth weight
•  help protect their baby who will continue to have some immunity to flu during the first few months of their life
•  reduce the chance of the mother passing infection to her new baby

I am pregnant and I think I may have flu. What should I do?
If you have flu symptoms you should talk to your doctor urgently, because if you do have flu there is a prescribed medicine that might help (or reduce the risk of complications), but it needs to be taken as soon as possible after the symptoms appear. You can get the free flu vaccine from your GP, or it may also be available from your pharmacist or midwife.

I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need another one this year?
Yes; the flu vaccine for each winter helps provide protection against the strains of flu that are likely to be present and may be different from those circulating last year. For this reason, we strongly recommend that even if you were vaccinated last year, you should be vaccinated again this year. In addition, protection from the flu vaccine may only last about six months so you should have the flu vaccine each flu season.

Will I be safe when I go for the flu vaccine if COVID-19 is still around?
While COVID-19 is in circulation, providers of flu vaccination will have measures in place to keep you safe. Staff giving the vaccine will be wearing protective equipment to protect both you and themselves from the virus. Appointment times may also be scheduled to reduce numbers in the waiting area or you may be asked not to arrive early.

I think I’ve already had flu, do I need a vaccination?
Yes; other viruses can give you flu-like symptoms, or you may have had flu but because there is more than one type of flu virus you should still have the vaccine even if you think you’ve had flu.

What about my children? Do they need the vaccination?
If you have a child over six months of age who has a long-term medical condition (as mentioned in the category above), they should have a flu vaccination.
All these children are more likely to become severely ill if they catch flu, and it could make their existing condition worse.
Talk to your GP about your child having the flu vaccination before the flu season starts.
The flu vaccine does not work well in babies under six months of age so it is not recommended. This is why it is so important that pregnant women have the vaccination – they will pass on some immunity to their baby that will protect them during the early months of their life.

Please phone your GP practice to book an appointment today

what is different this year?

This year approximately 100,000 people within the Borough will be eligible for a free  flu vaccination on the NHS.
It is the largest vaccination programme we have ever delivered in Wigan Borough and it is essential we vaccinate as many of these people as possible.
The vaccinations must be delivered in safest possible way following social distancing guidance and with additional Personal Protective Equipment requirements to normal.

Those who are most vulnerable should be done as quickly as possible within GP practices.

Flu vaccinations will continue to be available in GP Practices and in pharmacies. But to deliver as many vaccines as possible safely to the large numbers required, some GP Practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have chosen to work with us to deliver COVID-safe flu clinics at key community venues. They are:

1. Robin Park Leisure Centre – (this is opposite DW Stadium)
Loire Drive

2. St Peters Pavilion
Hurst St

3. Leigh Leisure Centre – (this is behind Leigh Sports Village – follow the road past and round the back)
Sale Way

4. Golborne Parkside Sports and Community Club
Rivington Avenue

You should contact your GP to attend one of these  COVID-safe flu clinics.

With extra precautions and safety measures in place your nurse in the clinic will be carrying out vaccinations safely and efficiently. You can help your nurse by:

At home

1. You will need an appointment from your GP practice to attend – anyone attending without an appointment will be asked to return home and call their practice.
2. Consider what to wear, it’s a good idea to wear something short sleeved to avoid removing excess clothes at the clinic.
3. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) , please don’t come down to the clinic – reschedule your flu for another time. Protect yourself and others!
4. Remember to bring a face mask  (unless you are exempt for medical reasons).

When you arrive at the clinic

5. There will be free parking for those attending. If you are early and you have travelled by car, please wait in your car until your appointment time.
6. Only arrive at your allocated appointment. If you miss your allocated time slot, you may be asked to re-book for another day and time.
7. Follow the clearly marked signs for Entrance and Exits.

Please be kind to those working in the GP practices and flu clinics they are working extremely hard to ensure you receive this year’s flu vaccination as safely as possible.

The below information gives you step by step guide to the COVID-safe flu clinics.

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