Flu Clinics

The flu jab is the best protection against the virus each autumn. Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated; for most people flu is uncomfortable but not serious. 

You can get a free flu jab if:

  • you are 65 or over;
  • you are living in an old people’s home or nursing home;
  • you have a long-term (chronic) condition such as a heart problem, asthma, kidney disease, diabetes;
  • you have a lowered immune system due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment;
  • you don’t have a spleen, or if your spleen doesn’t work properly.

If in doubt about whether you should have this or not please ask a member of staff.

A flu vaccine is recommended in pregnancy- please see information further down.

If a patient has an egg allergy please ask to speak to one of the nurses as some vaccines are now cell based.

The Practice has robust processes in place to ensure that patients receive the correct flu vaccination for them, whether over or under 65 years of age, or in a ‘at risk’ health group.

However patients should be aware, if an individual has inadvertently received a flu vaccine different to the one recommended for their age group, they will be informed of the error and the potential implications of this error.

The national influenza immunisation programme 2022 to 2023: information for healthcare practitioners states:

Individuals aged 65 years and over (particularly those more than 75 years of age) may not respond as well to the QIVe as they would to the vaccines recommended for their age group (aQIV, QIVr or QIVc). If they wish to receive the vaccine that they should have been given, this can be offered following a discussion of the benefits and risks. There is clear benefit in the additional protection that may be offered by the correct vaccine but they should be alerted to the potential increased risk of a local or systemic reaction. Although there is no data available on the safety and effectiveness of administering a second flu vaccine shortly after the first in adults, this advice is based on general principles of vaccination and experience of flu revaccination following cold chain and administration incidents.

If a decision is made to offer the vaccine the individual should have received, it is recommended that this is done as soon as possible after the first dose was given and ideally within a week.

This will enable protection to be made as soon as possible. It can still be given if more than a week has elapsed however.

If an individual under 65 years of age is given aQIV in error, they will not require revaccination.

Although the vaccine is currently licensed from 65 years of age, studies (21, 22) have looked at the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of this vaccine compared to non-adjuvanted flu vaccine in the 18 to 64 year old age group.

These have found that the adjuvanted vaccine was highly immunogenic with good levels of protection achieved. Reporting of local reactions (pain and warmth at the injection site) and systemic reactions (chills and aching muscles) was higher than in older age groups and when compared to those who received an adjuvanted vaccine.

Where the aQIV has been inadvertently administered to people in the 18 to 64 year age group, they should be informed that they may be more likely to develop a reaction following the aQIV than they have experienced following previous flu vaccinations. However, the studies showed that in those who experienced reactions, these generally occurred within 3 days of vaccination and were mild, transient and self-resolving.

Pneumococcal Vaccination

There is a pneumo jab to protect against serious forms of pneumococcal infection. For most it’s a one-off vaccination. If you would like more information, contact the surgery. You can have this vaccination if you have not had it before and:

  • you are 65 or over;
  • you have chronic disease of the heart, lungs, liver or kidneys;
  • you have diabetes;
  • you don’t have a spleen, or if your spleen doesn’t work properly;
  • your immune system doesn’t work properly (due to HIV, chemotherapy etc);
  • you have a CSF shunt; or you have a cochlear implant; or
  • you are under 5 years old and have previously had pneumococcal meningitis / bacteraemia;

If in doubt about whether you should have this or not please ask a member of staff.