Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness caused by a flu virus. The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains. You could also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a dry cough. Symptoms can last for up to a week.
Top 10 messages for eligible patients:
- Flu is much worse than a heavy cold flu symptoms can be severe and can come on suddenly. You’re likely to spend several days in bed and feel very unwell. Some people become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.
- You are at greater risk of complications from flu –you’re eligible for flu vaccination because you need it.
- The flu vaccine is very safe.
- The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus.
- The flu vaccine cannot give you flu your arm might be a bit sore where you were injected and some people have a slight temperature.
- The flu vaccine stimulates your body’s immune system to make antibodies to attack the flu virus –if you’re exposed to the virus after you’ve been vaccinated, your immune system will recognise the virus and produce antibodies to fight it.
- It can take up to 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to work, so get vaccinated as soon as you can.
- You need to have the flu vaccine each year because the circulating strains of the virus change and so different vaccines are produced to match.
- Pregnant women can have the vaccination at any stage of pregnancy, flu can make you and your baby very ill. Vaccination can also protect your baby against flu after they’re born and during their first few months.
- Your vaccination helps to protect those around you too, so elderly relatives, those with long-term conditions and other family members are all protected by your vaccination.
You may have been invited for a flu jab:
- By letter
- By SMS
- By a telephone call