Flu Vaccine Information 2021

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.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

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

  • aged 50 and over (including people who will be 50 by 31st March 2022)
  • with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • who are pregnant
  • who are in long-stay residential care
  • who receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatment for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • who are frontline health and care workers

This year the nasal spray flu vaccine  is being offered to children:

  • aged 2 or 3 years on 31st August 2021 – born between 1st September 2017 and 31 August 2019
  • in primary school (reception to year 6)
  • in year 7 to year 11 of secondary school
  • aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

The nasal spray vaccine offers the best protection for children aged 2 to 17 years. Children will be offered the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.

The nasal spray this year contains small traces of pork gelatine. If this is not suitable, speak to your child’s nurse or doctor about your options.

Children aged between 6 months and 2 years with a long term medical condition that makes them at higher risk from flu will be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray, as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2.

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 50 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 (2021 to 2022) if you’ll be aged 50 or over on 31 March 2022.

So, if you’re currently 49 but will be 50 by 31 March 2022, you do qualify.

This year the NHS have produced a guide on the flu vaccine – Who Should Have It And Why 2021/2022

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.

The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:

• respiratory conditions, such as asthma (needing steroid inhaler or tablets), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and bronchitis
• diabetes
• heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease or heart failure
• being very overweight – a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above
• chronic kidney disease
• liver disease, such as hepatitis
• neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
• a learning disability
• problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
• a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get flu.

This year the NHS have produced a guide on the flu vaccine Who Should Have It And Why 2021/2022

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.

This year the nasal spray flu vaccine  is being offered to children:

• aged 2 or 3 years on 31st August 2021 – born between 1st September 2017 and 31 August 2019
• in Primary School (reception to year 6)
• in year 7 to year 11 of secondary school
• aged 2 to 17 years with long term health conditions

Some of the key benefits are:

• No injection is needed (for those age 2 and above). The vaccine comes in the form of a nasal spray so there are no needles involved
• Protect you, your family, and friends
• Flu can lead to you may having to take time off work or arranging alternative childcare

For more information on protecting your child against flu:

Information leaflet for parents and carers of preschool and primary school-aged children 

Information leaflet for children in school years 7 to 11

or visit the NHS Flu pages.

The nasal spray this year contains small traces of pork gelatine. If this is not suitable, speak to your child’s nurse or doctor about your options.

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 there are easy read leaflets to explain all about Flu, how to stop getting it and how to protect yourself. Please print off and pass on where relevant.

All about Flu and how to stop getting it – Easy Read Leaflet

Protect yourself from Flu – Easy Read Leaflet

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 over 100,000 people within the Borough will be eligible for a free  flu vaccination on the NHS. 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
Wigan
WN5 0UL

2. St Peters Pavilion
Hurst St
Hindley
WN2 3DN

3. Leigh Leisure Centre – (this is behind Leigh Sports Village – follow the road past and round the back)
Sale Way
Leigh
WN7 4JY

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) or are self-isolating, 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 or covering (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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