Each winter Newline Pharmacy runs a flu jab service to help protect adults (and some children) from the effects of influenza. The influenza virus and its complications can be particularly unpleasant. For people with no other underlying health conditions the symptoms usually clear up on their own after about a week. However, for people with certain conditions, or for the elderly or pregnant women, flu can lead to other serious complications.
The flu jab service runs from September to February each winter. It is available to all adults and some children. Some people will need to pay for the flu jab, but people in high risk groups will receive the flu jab for free.
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How The Flu Jab Works
The flu jab is a vaccination that is administered by injection. The flu jab works by encouraging your immune system to produce antibodies that will recognise and attack the influenza virus if you become exposed to it. When someone who has been vaccinated is exposed to the flu virus, the body’s immune system immediately produces antibodies to kill the virus before the symptoms take hold.
The flu vaccine can take up to 14 days to become fully effective. The effects of the vaccination decrease over time. The flu virus also changes over time. For this reason it is necessary to have a new flu jab each winter.
High Risk Groups
People who belong to certain high risk groups may be entitled to a free flu vaccine, funded by the NHS. If you belong to a high risk category then it is important that you receive your vaccination as you could be at risk of serious complications if you contract flu.
People who belong to one of the following high risk groups should consider having the flu vaccine:
- aged over 65
- asthma sufferers
- have a lung condition
- have chronic heart disease
- have a chronic kidney condition
- have a chronic liver condition
- have had a stroke
- have a weakened immune system
- taking medications that lower your natural defences
Most people in any of the above categories will not have to pay for their flu vaccine. Those who do not belong to a high risk group can still choose to receive the flu jab to avoid the effects of flu. However, those people will need to pay a small charge for the service.
If you have any questions about the flu vaccine then please call into any Newline Pharmacy branch and ask to speak to the pharmacist. We will be pleased to answer any of your questions. The pharmacist will also address any concerns you have and will advise on whether it is advisable for you to receive the vaccinations.
You can also find out more general information about the flu vaccination, and see answers to frequently asked questions about the flu jab on the NHS Choices website: