Vaccination – Facing the facts on flu
Having your flu jab is one of the most important actions you can take to protect your health. The flu vaccine reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk. Yet last year 30% of eligible patients in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland did not take up the flu jab.
There are a lot of myths about flu that have circulated over the years. So, here are the facts to put your mind at rest.
- Can people get ill from the vaccine?
The injected vaccine does not contain an active flu virus, so it cannot give you flu.
- Is the flu vaccine effective?
Studies have proven the vaccine will help prevent flu in patients and reduce the length and strength of flu if caught.
- Do I really need the flu jab just because I am elderly or have a long term condition as I am otherwise well?
Flu is a serious infection. These groups of patients are at a higher risk of serious illness and hospital admission if they get the flu.
- Surely a flu vaccine protects you for life? Why do I need the vaccine again?
Flu viruses change every year so patients need to update their vaccination each year to match the new virus.
- Is it a risk to get a flu jab when you’re pregnant?
Pregnant women with flu are more likely to be admitted to hospital with serious complications than non-pregnant women.
- My child/children are perfectly healthy. Why do they need the vaccine?
Healthy children under the age of five are more likely to be admitted to hospital with flu or spread it to others.
So, if you’re eligible, please make sure that you get the free flu jab from the NHS. You can be sure that it won’t make you ill, and it might save your life.