Information on flu and myth busting from our local GP and clinical lead, Dr Nouman Khan
Why it is important to get the jab?
Flu virus causes significant illness to lots of people every year, particularly affecting those with underlying health conditions. This winter, flu, as well as Covid can worsen the problems. Flu vaccinations provides the most effective protection against flu virus, hence this winter it is vitally important that eligible group of people get flu immunisation (commonly known as flu jab). Children will be offered nasal flu vaccine. This will help to protect several lives as well as provide resilience to the NHS.
Where/how to get a flu jab?
Flu jab can be obtained at the GP surgery or local pharmacy. Due to Covid restrictions, this year usually an appointment may be necessary to get the flu jab. Please look at the website of your GP surgery.
Can flu jab cause flu?
There is no evidence that flu jab can cause flu. However, in some people, mild soreness of the injection site, aching muscles and fever can occur for a day or two. Children, after nasal vaccine, can have runny or blocked nose, headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite.
If I don’t have a long term illness, can I still have the flu jab?
This year, NHS flu vaccination programme will be offered to the following groups:
- all children aged two to eleven (but not twelve years or older) on 31 August 2020
- people aged 65 years or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021)
- those aged from six months to less than 65 years of age, who have long term condition (includes those with learning disability and those with severe obesity)
- pregnant women
- household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals,
- people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities w
- carer of an older or disabled person
- health and social care staff
Ways we can prevent the spread of flu?
The flu virus, like corona virus, spreads with cough and sneezing. You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
Does flu vaccine contain pork gelatine?
The nasal flu vaccine made for children has the porcine (pig) gelatine. This is used as it helps to keep the vaccine stable. The nasal vaccine is offered to children as it is more effective in the programme than the injected vaccine. This is because it is easier to administer and considered better at reducing the spread of flu to others. If, however, parents object to the use of porcine vaccine then those children can be given flu jabs that doesn’t contain pork protein.
Should I still have the flu jab if I already had flu?
Other viruses can give you flu-like symptoms, or you may have had flu but because there is more than one type of flu virus you should still have the vaccine even if you think you’ve had flu. However, jab can be delayed if someone has fever or currently unwell.
Flu Champions Training
What is it?
Historically there is low uptake of the flu vaccine in Ancoats, Clayton and Bradford – predominately in the Clayton/Openshaw ward. No solid information as to why there is such low uptake of the vaccine, however anecdotal, soft intelligence through VCSE conversations tells us that people do not trust the vaccine and are reluctant to accepting. This is partially due to myths not being debunked – flu champions will aim to prevent any cross-messages and provide consistent key messages.
The champions are local residents/flu champions who are trusted and well known in the community and will aim to promote the flu vaccine, myth bust and to inform people how and where to get the vaccine from. Training will be delivered by Manchester Settlement and is currently underway.
If you or anyone you know might be interested in getting involved or would like further information, please contact our Health Development Coordinator on – Zakaria.email@example.com or contact 07702 590595.