Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it’s sometimes called seasonal flu. It is caused by influenza viruses that infect the windpipe and lungs, and because it’s caused by viruses and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it.
How do you catch flu?
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.
You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you can wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
Who should have a flu vaccination?
The vaccine is available free of charge on the NHS, if you:
- Are 65 years or over
- Are pregnant
- Have certain medical conditions
- Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay 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
- Live with someone who’s at risk of coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list) or you expect to be with them on most days over winter
Later this year, the flu vaccine may also be given to 50-64 year olds. However, please note that people in the 50 to 64 year old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccines, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.
However, if you are 50-64, and have certain medical conditions, you will be invited for your flu vaccine sooner.
The flu vaccine is also available for children:
- Over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition;
- Aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020 (i.e. born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018);
- In primary school;
- In year 7 (secondary school)
How to get your flu jab
You can get you flu vaccine from your GP or local pharmacist – for more information go to: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
More information on flu can be found here.