Each year the seasonal flu resurfaces, infecting millions during the winter months. While many people will feel under the weather for a few days and recover, others are susceptible to developing severe illness from the flu.
Due to this, the NHS recommends certain groups for the flu vaccine from the autumn onwards.
The vaccine is free to these groups of people, and this can be for those over a certain age, with existing health conditions or health workers.
The Government has this year pledged to vaccinate 30 million people, which is double the 15 million given the jab in 2019.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in July he wants “everybody to get a flu jab” following concerns from experts of the combined impact of COVID-19 cases and seasonal flu.
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However, Mr Johnson pledged in July to extend the flu vaccine to those over the age of 50 once those who are shielding, school children up to Year 7 and pregnant women are vaccinated.
Speaking to reporters at the time Mr Johnson said: “We want everybody to get a flu jab in the run-up to this winter and that’s why we’re rolling out the biggest ever programme of flu immunisation.
“And we’re aiming first of all for schoolchildren up to Year 7, for pregnant women, for people over 65, for people who are shielded, but then we will be extending it to people who are 50 to 65.
“Now the reason for doing this is to protect the NHS in the winter months because obviously we have still got covid, we have still got the threat of a second spike on covid and it’s vital therefore to keep that pressure off the NHS by everybody getting a flu jab and I really hope everybody will.”
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You can book this through most pharmacies, including Boots, Lloyds, Superdrug and supermarket pharmacies such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.
For those who have already had the flu jab last year, you should get the injection again this year.
The flu is constantly evolving, meaning the vaccine last year will not protect against this year’s virus.
This means those eligible for the jab should get one every year in the autumn before flu season begins.
Symptoms of the flu
Symptoms of the flu include
- a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- a dry cough
- a sore throat
- a headache
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling sick and being sick