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Flu season is upon us, here is a guide to who is eligible and the answers to some common FAQ’s

Book Your Flu Jab Online or by phoning us on 01273 772020

Who is Elegible?

Eligibility is set by NHS England and is NOT at the practices discretion, you will see an icon on their homepage if they are eligible. However, if you think a patient falls into the below categories, we can add an eligibility code.

ANYONE over 65

People under 65 with the following conditions:

  • Chronic respiratory problems – asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis
  • Chronic heart or vascular problems – angina, heart attack (myocardial infarction), cardiomyopathies, peripheral vascular disease
  • Chronic kidney disease or on renal dialysis
  • Neurological problems – stroke (cerebrovascular accident), mini-stroke (TIA), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, dementia, other long-term neurological conditions
  • Cancer patients
  • Patients on immunosuppressive therapies (e.g. for rheumatoid arthritis, long-term steroids, transplant patients) or who are potentially immunocompromised (e.g. splenectomy, sickle cell disease, HIV)
  • Diabetes
  • BMI > 40
  • Pregnant women
  • People who live or work in residential care homes
  • Carers in receipt of carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person.
  • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline workers in a social care setting without an employer led occupational health scheme including those working for  a registered residential care or nursing home, registered domiciliary care providers, voluntary managed hospice providers and those that are employed by those who receive direct payments (personal budgets) or Personal Health budgets, such as Personal Assistants

Children aged 2 or 3 by 31 Aug 2023

Children aged 4 – 11 (this is given at school usually)

Book Your Flu Jab Online or by phoning us on 01273 772020

Changes from last year’s flu vaccination campaign

-People aged 50-64 who aren’t in one of the clinical risk groups are NOT part of the 2023/24 vaccination programme.

FAQs

Is the flu vaccine given to my child an injection?

6 months – 2 years old in a clinical risk group:
Injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years old

4 – 10 years old:
Nasal flu immunisation at school except for children in high risk groups as defined above (e.g. asthma, etc.) when WellBN will provide immunisation.

2 – 17 years old in clinical risk groups, 2 – 3 years old, other eligible child age groups:
Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) given as a nasal spray (Fluenz) except if contraindicated.

Children who miss immunisations should be signposted to the Immunisation Team 01273 696011 x3789

I have an egg allergy – can I have the flu vaccine?

Most flu vaccines (4 out of 6 brands) are developed using chicken eggs. Most adults and children with an egg allergy can be given the low-egg flu vaccinations except if you have had severe anaphylaxis to eggs which lead to an admission to intensive care when an egg-free vaccine must be used.

My child has an egg allergy – can they have the flu vaccine?

Most children aged 2 years and over will receive the Fluenz Tetra LAIV nasal flu vaccination which is a low-egg version and can be given to all children except those who have had severe anaphylaxis to eggs which lead to an admission to intensive care. These children will need to have administration at hospital.

Children with egg allergies and asthma can receive the nasal vaccine if their asthma is well-controlled.

Children aged under 2 years and an egg allergy will be able to receive the cell-based CSL Seqirus QIVc version.

Is the flu vaccine vegan?

Flu vaccines that have not been grown in egg or uses porcine gelatine would be considered vegan as no live animals or animal-products have been used.

The nasal influenza Fluenz Tetra LAIV vaccine contains porcine gelatine – an alternative is available for children in this group.

Egg-free versions of vaccine include: CSL Seqirus QIVc (licenced for use from age 2 years); Supemtek (Sanofi) QIVr (licenced for use from age 18 years).

The CSL Seqirus QIVc vaccine has been developed using a canine cell line taken from a dog in 1958.

Viruses can only grow in cells in order to develop vaccines, however viruses and bacteria are not considered animals so any usage of these would be acceptable in a vegan diet.

Can I have multiple vaccines?

You can with the exception of the SHINGLES vaccine, it is recommended that this is given with a 7 day gap from a covid vaccine.

Does the flu vaccine also contain a covid booster?

No, these are separate vaccines but can be given at the same time if available.

The flu vaccine gave me flu last time, I don’t want it.

The flu vaccines are inactivated virus containing vaccines so it cannot give you the flu. Some of the side effects of the vaccine are flu-like symptoms.

I still got the flu after having my vaccine last time, it doesn’t work!

Several viruses are circulating all the time, the flu vaccine protects you from the most common strain of flu at the time as the vaccine is specific to one or two strains only.

I am pregnant, is the flu vaccine safe?

Pregnant women are encouraged to get the flu vaccine, it is an inactivated vaccine so is safe at any stage of pregnancy and your immunity will pass onto your baby too.

Book Your Flu Jab Online or by phoning us on 01273 772020