This year, with COVID-19 in circulation, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated to protect yourself from the flu. Although the flu isn’t serious for everyone, it can make some people very ill.
It’s important to get the flu vaccination annually as it changes every year and you should get it in Autumn when the flu season starts to make sure you are protected. Flu vaccine doses will be available on the NHS for people most at risk from influenza. This includes:
- all children aged 2 to 15 (but not 16 years or older) on 31 August 2021
- those aged 6 months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 50 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline health and social care staff employed by:
- a registered residential care or nursing home
- registered domiciliary care provider
- a voluntary managed hospice provider
- Direct Payment (personal budgets) and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants
The flu vaccination is available at GP practices and pharmacies across Salford. Please contact your GP practice or pharmacy for more information.
Symptoms of the flu
If you do fall ill with the flu, symptoms can come on very quickly and can include:
- A sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- An aching body
- Feeling tired
- A dry cough
- A sore throat
- A headache
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhoea or tummy pain
- Feeling sick or being sick
Usually, you can treat the flu yourself by resting, keeping hydrated, taking paracetamol and ibuprofen and keeping warm.
A pharmacist can give you treatment advice and recommend flu remedies.
Salford key workers urge you to get your flu jab
Key workers across Salford are getting their flu vaccinations this winter to keep the city moving and are urging you to do the same. Teachers, bus and tram drivers, refuge collectors, NHS and social care staff and many more are getting vaccinated to make sure they are protected from the flu and can still go to work to help you. Make sure you get your flu jab too and protect your friends, family and local community.
This local campaign has been launched by NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, Salford Council and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
Alternate formats: easy-read guide about flu vaccine
People with a learning disability, and their carers, can get a free flu jab from their doctor or pharmacist. Some people with autism may also be eligible for a free flu vaccination.
- Easy-read guide to having your flu vaccination - information for people with a learning disability about protecting yourself from flu easy-read leaflet can be found here
- Simple text version for adults about flu vaccine
- Watch this short video on flu vaccinations for people with a learning disability
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
The flu vaccination is safe and effective and is given annually. It cannot give you the flu. It does not protect you from COVID-19 or seasonal coughs and colds, but it does give protection against the strains of flu virus that will be circulating this year.
Adults usually receive the flu vaccination in injection form, and children usually receive a nasal spray.
Am I protected from flu the moment I get the jab?
It takes about 10 days for the jab to work effectively. This means in theory you could be immunised and then pick up flu before you are fully proected.
Can I have my flu vaccine at the same time as my COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. If you are visiting your GP practice for your COVID booster and are eligible for your seasonal flu vaccination, then you could receive them both at the same time. Please note, this is only available in the Swinton, Walkden and Little Hulton. Please also note, this is for your information only and not to be promoted widely
The flu vaccination is available from autumn 2021 onwards. You will be invited to book a vaccination appointment at around this time, but please contact your GP practice or local pharmacy if not. It’s important that you have your vaccination as soon as possible.
Many people will receive their flu vaccination at a GP surgery as usual. Others may go to a pharmacy or another location in their community. School-aged children will receive their vaccination from a trained health professional at school or in their community. Health professionals will also visit care homes to vaccinate residents on-site. You can also receive it from your midwifery service or when attending a hospital appointment.
Only one in a million people get serious side effects. Mild side effects such as soreness around the injection site and aching muscles are more common, but these are far less serious than the effects of contracting flu.
I got the flu from having the flu vaccine.
The flu vaccine does not contain a live virus meaning you cannot catch the flu from the 'inactive' vaccine.
The flu virus mutates constantly, and the vaccine is updated every year to counter the latest strains so it is important to get vaccinated annually.
Can antibiotics cure flu?
Flu is casued by the influenza virus. Antibiotics only kill bacteria and don't have any side effect in curing viruses, meaning antibiotics won't cure your bout of flu.
The flu vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy and is recommended for all pregnant women as they face a higher risk of developing complications from flu.
The NHS is doing everything it can to make sure that vaccinations are given in safe environments. All possible precautions will be taken to make sure you, and staff, are protected.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not attend your vaccination appointment but instead self-isolate and book a coronavirus test at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or by calling 119. You can rebook your flu vaccination appointment at a later date.
The flu virus and COVID-19 have symptoms which overlap, such a high temperature or persistent cough. It may be difficult to tell which virus you have. For this reason, it’s really important that you have a flu vaccination if you are eligible, and that you continue to follow the guidance on self-isolation and testing at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
Does washing hands stop flu?
It is vital to follow universal infection prevention procedures and wash your hands, but once flu has been passed on to your family, colleagues or friends, clean hands won't keep flu at bay.
Anyone regardless of age or gender can catch the flu. Getting the flu vaccine helps to protect those in high risk groups who are at risk of catching the virus.
Healthy people don't get seasonal flu?
Generally 15-20% of the population gets flu each year. Healthy people included! A healthy diet will help to boost your immune system but unfortunately can't prevent you from getting the flu.
Flu is a much more dangerous virus than the common cold virus. Flue comes on fast and can include symptoms such as a sudden fever, severe body aches, headaches, diarrhoea and nausea.