What is Flu?
• Flu is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs)
• Highly infectious illness which spreads rapidly in closed communities
• Even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others
• Most cases in the UK occur during an 8-10 week period during the winter
Features of Flu:
• Easily transmitted by large droplets, small-particle aerosols and by hand to mouth/eye contamination from an infected surface or respiratory secretions of infected person
• People with mild or no symptoms can still infect others
• Incubation period 1-5 days (average 2-3 days) though may be longer especially in people with immune deficiency
Common symptoms include:
• Sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle pain & extreme fatigue
• Dry cough, sore throat and stuffy nose
• In young children gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea may be seen
If you are eligible for a flu vaccination please do not wait to be contacted make an appointment with the reception Team for a convenient date and time.
Eligible Categories include:
Patients aged 65 and over
Chronic Respiratory Disease (6 months and older)
Chronic Heart Disease (6 months and older)
Chronic Kidney Disease (6 months and older)
Chronic Liver Disease (6 months and older)
Chronic Neurological Disease (6 months and older)
Diabetes (6 months and older)
Immunosuppressed (6 months and older)
People in Long-Stay Residential Homes
Carers – those in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance or main carer
This is not an exhaustive list please discuss with your GP if you feel you should receive a vaccination but are not in the list above.
Why Should I Bother with the Vaccination?
• Increasing flu vaccine uptake in clinical risk groups important because of increased risk of death and serious illness if people in these groups catch flu.
• For a number of years only around half of patients aged six months to under 65 in clinical risk groups have been vaccinated.
• Despite those with liver disease and chronic neurological disease having some of the highest mortality rates, they have the lowest flu vaccine uptake rate amongst those in clinical risk groups.
• Pregnant Women are at increased risk from complications if they contract flu
• Having flu during pregnancy may be associated with premature birth and smaller birth size and weight
• Flu vaccination during pregnancy provides passive immunity against flu to infants in the first few months of life
• Studies on safety of flu vaccine in pregnancy show that inactivated flu vaccine can be safely and effectively administered during any trimester of pregnancy
• No study to date has demonstrated an increased risk of either maternal complications or adverse fetal outcomes associated with inactivated flu vaccine
Why Vaccinate Children against flu?
In addition to the above the Government are continuing to offer flu vaccinations to children within certain age groups. This year all children aged, two, three and four years of age on or before 1 September 2014 ie born between 2.9.09 and 1.9.12 are eligible to receive a flu vaccination.
Extension of the seasonal flu vaccination programme to all children aims to appreciably lower the public health impact of flu by:
Providing direct protection thus preventing a large number of cases of flu in children
Providing indirect protection by lowering flu transmission from:
• Child to child
• Child to adult
• Child to those in the clinical risk groups of any age
Reducing flu transmission in the community will avert many cases of severe flu and flu-related deaths in older adults and people with clinical risk factors
Annual administration of flu vaccine to children is expected to substantially reduce flu-related illness, GP consultations, hospital admissions and deaths