Everetts Pharmacy

Our pharmacists can administer your FREE NHS jab at no cost if you are in one of the risk groups listed, should you be having difficulty visiting your normal surgery. 

Service available at:

 

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLU

Flu is just a bad cold, right?

Anybody that's had flu will tell you that it's far worse than a cold. Colds tend to just cause a runny nose, sneezing, headache and a chesty cough, and will pass in a few days. Flu (also known as influenza), on the other hand, affects the lungs as well, and the symptoms can be so severe that you are bedridden for a week.

If you are elderly, have a medical condition or a weak immune system then flu can develop life-threatening complications, like pneumonia or a chest infection. Flu is linked to 18,000 deaths every year*,  so it's not to be taken lightly if you suffer from poor health.

Flu can be fatal for the elderly and people with a weakened immune system. 

How can I catch it?

Flu is highly contagious and spreads quickly. It can be passed on by infected people sneezing or coughing in public areas and transmitting the virus through the air. It can also be spread through direct contact and by people with the virus touching surfaces, like door handles, with unwashed hands.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms normally start two days after infection and pass after five to eight days. Typical flu symptoms:

  • Sudden high temperature
  • Sweating and feverish
  • Headache
  • Aching limbs and joints
  • General tiredness
  • Sore throat and dry cough

How does the vaccine work?

It creates antibodies that fight against infection and raises the body's natural defenses against flu.

Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing flu**

Do I need to get vaccinated every year?

Yes. Because flu viruses may change each winter, and having an annual vaccination is the best way of ensuring you keep yourself protected.

A fully trained pharmacist will carry out the vaccination in a private consultation room

Can I catch flu from the vaccine?

No - this is a myth. You might, however, experience a mild reaction lasting a day or two and it can take two weeks for the vaccine to work.

I was vaccinated last year but still caught the flu. Why's that? 

The flu jab protects against most common forms of flu, but there is a small chance that you might catch a smaller strain that's not in the vaccine. But let's be clear, getting vaccinated significantly reduces the risk of getting flu.

What about swine flu? Will I be protected? 

Yes. This year's vaccine contains treatment for the H1N1 virus strain which causes swine flu.

The flu jab reduces the risk of catching common types of

flu 70-90% in healthy adutls under 65

How do I know whether I'm suitable to get the jab? 

There are certain circumstances that prevent the pharmacy form administering a flu vaccination. You should be able to confirm the following:

  • You are over 18 years old
  • Not had other immunisations in the last 3 months
  • You are not pregnant and do not think you might be

If any of the following apply to you, you should discuss your suitability with the pharmacy assistant:

  • You have any significant infections at present e.g. chest infection
  • You have had any other immunisations or vaccinations during the last 3 months
  • You have ever fainted or felt dizzy after receiving an injection in the past
  • You are allergic to anything
  • You are taking any medication
  • You are suffering from any medical conditions

Your pharmacist will be able to advise on your suitability and provide the service at a time to suit you***

Anything I need to watch out for afterwards?

Most people don't experience any adverse side-effects. But if your arm feels sore you can apply a cold flannel. If you have a headache or slight fever then drink plenty of water and take a painkiller to lower you temperature.

Remember, your pharmacist is a fully trained healthcare professional, and they can advise you on the best treatment for you symptoms. If the symptoms persist for more than 48 hours see your GP.

Contact your pharmacy to book your appointment so you can enjoy a flu-free winter

Service available at:

References: * Pitman et al 2006.  ** CDC 2007.

***The vaccination is not available to those under the age of 18 and expectant mothers but is available to those breastfeeding.

© AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd.