Had your Flu Jab?
Protect yourself & your family this winter
Frequently Asked Questions
Flu is just a bad cold right?
Anybody that’s had flu will tell you that it’s far worse than a cold. Colds tend to cause a runny nose, sneezing, headaches and a chesty cough – these can all pass in a few days. Flu on the other hand can be more severe, leaving you bedridden.
If you are elderly, have a medical condition or have a weak immune system, then flu can develop life-threatening complications like pneumonia or a chest infection.
How can I catch it?
Being highly contagious, flu can be passed on by infected people sneezing or coughing in public areas and transmitting the virus through the air.
A person sneezing but not covering their mouth can propel 40,000 droplets of moisture and millions of germs over a distance of over 30 ft (www.healthy-house.co.uk/absence-at-work).
The virus can also be spread indirectly if an infected person touches surfaces, such as door handles, with unwashed hands.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms normally start a few days after being infected. Those who have the virus typically begin to feel better within a week or so, however you may feel fatigued for much longer. Typical flu symptoms include:
- A high temperature of 38C or above
- Aching limbs and joints
- General tiredness and weakness
- A sore throat
- A dry, chesty cough
How does the vaccine work?
The vaccine creates antibodies that fight against the infection and raise the body’s natural defences against flu, consequently allowing your body to either eliminate or reduce any fly symptoms that occur.
Do I need to get vaccinated every year?
Yes, flu viruses may change each winter. Having an annual vaccination is the best way of ensuring you keep yourself protected. This year, the flu vaccine (which has been recommended by the World Health Organisation) will protect against three types of flu virus:
- A/H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009
- A/H3N2 – a strain of flu that can infect birds and mammals and was active in 2011
- B/Phuket/3073/2013 – the influenza B virus is known to infect humans and seals
Can I catch flu from the vaccine?
No, this is a myth; you will not experience any flu symptoms. However, you may experience a sore arm which could last for a day or two. It can take 10 - 14 days for the vaccine to work.
I was vaccinated last year but still caught the flu. Why’s that?
The flu jab protects against the most common forms of flu - although there is a small chance that you might catch a strain that the vaccine doesn’t protect against. Nevertheless, even if you do get the flu after having the flu vaccine, the severity of the symptoms can be reduced.