Flu vaccine for usual groups eg for everyone over 65, and chronic disease/carers need this annually.
See the leaflet above if you are under 65 to see if you qualify for a free flu vaccination.
For patients aged 18yrs and over our Nurses will be holding flu catch-up clinics between 11:30 and 12:30 Monday – Friday from 24th September. Please check in at Reception. (We have not received the vaccine for those under 18yrs as yet).
Fluenz, is a nasal spray flu vaccine for all children aged 2 or 3 yrs old, we will send out an invitation letter for this.
We are also vaccinating 4,5 and 6 year olds this year (nasal flu vaccine) and we will send out an invitation letter for this also.
Pneumovax (Pneumococcal) for above groups but you only need this once in your lifetime.
Zostervax (Shingles) is a vaccine for anyone aged 70/71/72/73/74/75/78/79 on 1.9.2016 (so dates of birth 2.9.1942 to 1.9.1945 and dates of birth 2.9.1936 to 1.9.1938) to protect from the effects of shingles. For more info a useful website is www.shinglesaware.co.uk We will do these opportunistically initially.
If you have any queries please speak to one of our Practice Nurses or your GP.
IMPORTANT explanation of why flu and flu like illness has been so prevalent this winter and why those people who have the seasonal flu vaccination should continue to do so:
The World Health Organization monitors influenza globally and each year recommends the strains of flu virus that should be included in the flu vaccine for the forthcoming flu season. It takes from February through to August / September to produce sufficient quantities of the flu vaccine. If a change in the virus is detected once production has started it is not possible to change it.
Throughout the last decade, there has generally been a good match between the strains of flu in the vaccine and those that subsequently circulate. It is also important to reassure people that they cannot ever catch flu or flu like illness from the vaccine given by their GP surgery.
The current vaccine is still expected to protect against flu A(H1N1)pdm09 and flu B, both of which may yet circulate this season, so anyone in an at-risk group should still get vaccinated if they have not already.
It’s not possible to fully predict the strains that will circulate in any given season, and there is always a risk of a drift occurring as we have seen this year. However, it’s important to be aware that this does not occur every season. Flu vaccine is still the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths each year among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with a health condition, even one that is well managed.
Our findings also mean that the early use of antivirals to treat and help prevent serious cases of flu in vulnerable patients is even more important this season.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer John Watson said:
The latest data show that levels of flu are generally decreasing in the UK. We do see ‘drift’ in the flu virus from time to time, but even so, I want to reassure people that it is still the best overall way to protect yourself and your family from flu, along with good hand hygiene.
Antiviral drugs are available and effective, and doctors should prescribe them for those at greatest risk of becoming seriously ill due to flu.
In recent weeks, there have been indications that influenza activity is stabilising, but evidence of significant excess mortality, particularly in the elderly, continues to be seen, with more deaths than expected at this time of the year. This further highlights the importance of early prescribing of antivirals for vulnerable groups to reduce the risk of serious illness.
Public Health England, Press office, infections, 61 Colindale Avenue, London, NW9 5EQ
Phone 0203 6820574
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