Flu Vaccinations


Had your Flu Jab?

Protect yourself & your family this winter

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I Eligible for the free NHS flu Vaccination?

Clinical risk groups who should receive the influenza immunisation

Influenza vaccine should be offered to people* in the clinical risk categories set out below.

Who can get the private flu vaccination?

We also run various local schemes (like the London Vaccination service) which opens the eligibility criteria to more patients than the national service. Please speak to your local Day Lewis pharmacy to find out if there are additional services running in your area.

Should you not fall under the NHS criteria, we are still able to privately vaccinate patients over the age of 18. To find out more on how best to battle the cold and flu season, please visit your local Day Lewis pharmacy where we will be happy to provide you with more information

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.

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
  • Headaches
  • 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 so The World Health Organisation recommend flu strains to protect against every year. 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.

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