When Should You Have The Flu Jab?


It’s Christmas time, mistletoe and… time to whine about runny noses, sore throats and pounding heads – welcome to flu season! Hundreds of thousands of people contract the flu virus every single year, yet to protect themselves more than 14 million adults and children in England were vaccinated against the flu in 2018/19. Whilst the symptoms of flu are very unpleasant, for those who are generally healthy, it’ll clear up within about a week. However for some, the flu can have much more severe complications, therefore a flu vaccination is highly recommended. But when should you have your flu jab to ensure you are fully protected throughout flu season?

Who should get the flu vaccine?

If you fall under any of the following, a flu vaccine is highly recommended:

  • You are over 65 years old
  • You are pregnant
  • You have an underlying health condition (usually heart or breathing-related) or weakened immunity
  • Children between the ages of 2-7

Whilst these are the highest risk groups who are most susceptible to complications as a result of flu, there are other groups of people who are advised to get the flu jab, these include:

  • Health and social care workers
  • If you work with (or have) young children
  • If you have lots of exposure to the general public, typically in retail/restaurants – where you risk of picking up the flu virus is higher
  • Students
  • If you are trying to get pregnant

Can you afford to take time off work?

Can you afford to have a week off work in bed with the flu? Whether you’re self-employed, or the head of a company, it is worth having a flu vaccination for peace of mind. Think about your employees too, can you afford for them to take a week off work? If the answer is no, it could be beneficial to look at a corporate vaccination service, where flu vaccinations are delivered on-site. Protect you and your workforce!

When should you have a flu vaccine?

The recommended time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, between October and November ideally. Having your flu jab at this time ensures that you are protected for the peak of the flu season between December and February. Flu is an extremely infectious virus, spreading through a variety of channels. Just think about how many people you come into contact with over the Christmas period, that’s why you should “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it”.

Can the flu vaccine give you flu?

You may have heard the myth that the flu vaccine can give you the flu. This certainly isn’t the case, the injected flu vaccine contains inactive forms of the flu virus and therefore cannot give you the flu. The reason this myth came about is most likely due to the possibility of side effects that can occur; soreness at the injection site, aching muscles and a fever.

To make sure that you have maximum protection from the flu virus this wintertime, make sure that you have your flu jab as soon as possible. The benefits of having your flu jab with LycaHealth is that same-day GP appointments are available, rather than having to wait weeks for a drop-in clinic.

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