Like every year all people who are deemed at risk from contracting the seasonal flu will be offered the seasonal flu jab. If you work for the NHS or are front line based staff who deal a lot with the public then you may also be offered the flu jab free of charge. Usually a few weeks before the sessions start a letter will be sent from your GP asking you to contact them to make an appointment to come in.
Who needs the flu jab?
Usually over 65’s and pregnant women are offered the flu jab first as they are seen as more of a priority but people suffering from other conditions are also entitled for the flu jab free of charge. These include those who suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma, liver, kidney, heart, diabetes or any other conditions that lead to lowered immunity. If you have not been contacted by your GP it may be wise to call them yourself to see why you had been missed out on the recall.
Seasonal influence or flu as it is most commonly referred to kills thousands of people every year, although young children and older adults are more prone to suffering the most everyone should take precautions to avoid and contain it. The flu can lead to pneumonia and bronchitis which left untreated will be fatal. If you suspect flu do not leave the house or go to work where it will spread, call your GP for advice over the phone and as a friend or family member to pick up medications for you. It is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or juice, remember to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. The nationwide advertisements to stop the spread of flu, sneeze in a tissue, throw it away and then wash your hands to stop the virus spreading.
Flu jab 2010
This year when I received my invitation (24 year old asthma sufferer) it had a leaflet explaining changes made to this year’s flu programme. It informed me of the dangers and then clearly stated that this year’s flu jab also included protection against the H1N1 strain or swine flu as it is most commonly known. As soon as I saw this I refused straight away, I couldn’t believe it. The flu jab is supposed to protect you from both the flu and swine flu, but this is not true you can still catch it at any time.
I contacted the Department of Health (DoH) to ask them directly of this year’s programme and wanted to know if I could get vaccinated against the seasonal flu privately. They replied back saying that this year it was a combined vaccination and no separate vaccines were available! I am extremely disappointed that we do not have a choice, I would have been happy to pay the £15 for it to be administered privately.
The reason I am against the combined vaccination is it hasn’t been tested properly, if you go on the NHS website you can clearly see the comments and problems people have been left with as a result of the combined vaccination. Other health forums are also seeing a rise in complaints from people who have suffered adverse reactions as a result of the flu jab. If you truly want to have then do some independent research and don’t rely on the government websites as they are biased. If people do not get the flu jab then they have yet again wasted a lot of taxpayers’ money unnecessarily.