Who should have the flu jab?
For most people, flu is an unpleasant illness, but it's not serious. If you are otherwise healthy, you will usually recover from flu within a week.
However, certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people should have a flu jab each year.
People who should have a flu jab
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:
- are 65 years of age or over
- are pregnant
- have certain medical conditions (see below)
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact or a social care worker (see below)
Pregnant women and the flu jab
If you're pregnant, you're advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you've reached.
That's because there's strong evidence to suggest that pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.
If you're pregnant, you will benefit from the flu vaccine because it:
- reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
- reduces your risk of having a miscarriage or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birthweight, due to flu
- will help protect your baby because they will continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their life
It's safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy, from conception onwards. The vaccine doesn't carry any risks for you or your baby. Talk to your GP or midwife if you are unsure about the vaccination.
Read more about the flu jab in pregnancy.
Flu jab for people with medical conditions
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone with a serious long term health condition. That includes these types of illnesses:
This list of conditions isn't definitive. It's always an issue of clinical judgement. Your GP can assess you individually to take into account your risk of flu exacerbating any underlying illness you may have, as well as your risk of serious illness from flu itself. The vaccine should always be offered in such cases, even if you are not technically in one of the risk groups above.
If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system, you may also be advised to have a flu vaccine. Speak to your GP about this.
Flu vaccine for children
The flu vaccine is recommended for:
- children over the age of six months with a long term health condition
- healthy children aged two and three
Children aged between six months and two years of age who are eligible for the flu vaccine should have the flu jab.
Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between two and 18 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.
Read about who should have the children's flu vaccine.
Flu jab for health and social care workers
Outbreaks of flu can occur in health and social care settings, and, because flu is so contagious, staff, patients and residents are all at risk of infection.
If you're a frontline health and social care worker, you are eligible for an NHS flu jab to protect yourself, your colleagues and other members of the community. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange vaccination for you. Public Health England has this advice on flu vaccination of health and social care workers.
Your Employers or Occupational Health Department should organise this for you - you will not be able to obtain one from your GP.
Flu jab for carers
If you care for someone who is elderly or disabled, speak to your GP about having a flu jab along with the person you care for.
Read more about flu jab for carers.
Important Information for Patients
Our Clinical System is changing (Moving to EMIS)
The Practice will ‘Go-live’ on a new clinical computer system on Thursday 19th October 2017. The new system (EMIS Web) is in use by most of our practice colleagues within the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group including Rothschild House Surgery. It will ensure that we are able to continue to provide a good/improved service to our Patients for years to come.
Over the last few months, a lot of background work has taken place to enable us to plan and prepare for the implementation of this new system. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure disruption to Patients (and Staff) is kept to the minimum, we would like to prepare you for some necessary but, temporary disruption to services.
We will be migrating/moving all information from the current clinical system to the new EMIS system between 13th – 18th October 2017; during this time we will have limited access to certain areas of the system and ask for your assistance with the following;
Routine Repeat Prescriptions
We will not be issuing any routine repeat prescriptions during the migration to EMIS Web. We ask that you place any requests into the surgery by Wednesday 11th October 2017. Please note, if you order your prescriptions online – this service will not be available from mid-October.
From Monday 11th September 2017, where clinically safe to do so; patients will be issued with two months’ supply via a post-dated prescription.
Please check your requirements in advance and order your prescriptions in plenty of time.
Whilst clinics will continue to run throughout this time, they will not be bookable in advance and will be for urgent appointments only. Further information will be provided soon.
Online Patient Services
As this is a brand new system, it will, unfortunately, be necessary for Patients to re-register to use EMIS web. Re-registration cannot take place until after ‘Go-live’. In order to minimise inconvenience we will automatically re-register existing online service patients shortly after 19th October and send out your new username and password either by email or post.
We plan to keep the website updated with information and posters will be placed in the Practice waiting rooms. Where necessary, we may text you with updates and ask that you ensure we have the correct details for you.
Thank you in advance for your continued patience, support and understanding.