Knowsley Older People's Voice

Flu Jabs Autumn/Winter 2017

KOPV is supporting this year’s campaign for people over 65, carers, pregnant women, and those with a serious medical condition to get their seasonal flu jab.

The vaccine protects against seasonal flu which can have serious complications for older people. Even if you’ve already had a flu jab in previous years, you need another each year as the flu viruses in circulation are always changing. The formulation of the vaccine is updated each year to take account of the flu viruses known to be in circulation. You can also help us to encourage others in your family who are at risk to get their flu jab.

Take up of the flu jab among older people in Knowsley is usually quite good at about 75%, although there are some common myths about flu jabs which prevent more people from having it. Here are some answers to a number of queries that sometimes discourage people from receiving their flu jab:

I’ve never had flu – why do I need a jab?

A: You never know when flu will strike and symptoms are more severe than a common cold. Flu can also cause complications such as Bronchitis and Pneumonia, which can be very serious. The jab is the best way to protect yourself (and family and friends).

I’ve heard the jab will give me the flu – some people complain they feel ill after receiving the jab?

A: The jab will not give you flu because it does not contain the live virus. It is very safe. Occasionally people can feel a little achy and under the weather after the jab, but these symptoms are much less severe and dangerous than flu.

How do I arrange to receive my flu jab?

A: Your flu jab is available from your GP surgery or participating pharmacies. It is free for the over 65’s, and those under 65 who are carers or who have chronic medical conditions including respiratory, heart, renal or liver disease, diabetes or stroke. All you need to do is make an appointment, or ask about it when you go to the surgery.

Who else should have a flu jab?

This year children are also being encouraged to have the flu vaccination. Whilst they are not one of the groups most at risk of flu, they can spread the virus as they generally don’t use tissues or wash their hands, and often come into contact with some of the more vulnerable groups such as older people (grandparents) and pregnant women. For children the vaccine is delivered as a nasal spray – those aged 2 & 3 can access this from their GP, whilst those up to year 4 will receive it at school. Health and Social care staff who regularly come into contact with groups most at risk of flu should also consider flu vaccination.

Please encourage members of your family who are encouraged to have flu jabs to take this up.

For more information on this winter’s flu vaccination programme download this A5_booklet 2017 (pdf)

Related item: You can receive the shingles vaccination when you get your flu jab

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