The Goal – To Protect the whole of Sheffield from the Flu
Influenza, more commonly known as “The Flu”, is a major cause of illness in Sheffield, and nationally, affects thousands of people year round. The problem with the flu is that it’s very contagious, spreading quite easily between people and so one of the big benefits of vaccinating yourself is that you’re protecting others. This is very important when considering those who are more vulnerable than yourself, such as the elderly or who have chronic conditions, and is why NHS Sheffield campaign heavily for the Flu vaccination every year.
Furthermore, Seasonal Flu is a serious concern when it comes to taking time off work, and depending on the symptoms, can be anywhere between 5 and 14 days. This is why companies pay £1000’s every year to offer their staff vaccinations free of charge to protect theirs and their employees best interests. To add to this, the NHS spends millions annually to treat those who suffer from the Flu.
In this article, I’m going to break down more about the physiology of the Flu, what you can do to keep yourself protected and what options you have to get the Flu Jab in Sheffield.
What is the Flu?
The Flu is caused by the influenza virus and affects the upper and lower respiratory tract. It’s very contagious, spreading through groups of people in close contact by secretions from the nose and mouth. The symptoms of Flu often get mixed up with the Common Cold, which is also a respiratory viral infection, but are usually much more severe and people often can’t get out of bed. Some symptoms include:
- High fever
- Headache and muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Hot and cold sweats
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of appetite
How does the Flu Jab work?
The Flu Jab works by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies to help protect you against the influenza virus. After your vaccination, it takes about 2 weeks for you to become immune. After this, if you’re exposed to influenza, your body will release the antibodies to fight off the infection and keep you healthy.
It’s recommended that you have a flu vaccination every year for two reasons:
- Your immunity begins to wear off after a year, and
- The strains of influenza viruses can change quickly meaning you may be prone to infection
The Flu vaccine is the best protection we have against influenza but like all vaccines, it doesn’t guarantee protection due to the various strains that co-exist. You must still exercise the best hygiene practice, but in the case that you do get the Flu, your symptoms may be less apparent than if you didn’t have the vaccine.
Where can I get the Flu Jab in Sheffield?
We’re really lucky that, in Sheffield, the Flu Jab is HIGHLY accessible. This means that potentially the majority of the city could be vaccinated which would really reduce the incidence of illness and help protect the city.
Your Local Pharmacy
One of the most accessible places to get your flu jab is your local pharmacy. The advantages of having it there are that there is usually no appointment necessary and many pharmacies offer the vaccination as part of the NHS, meaning it’s free for certain groups of people, just like your GP surgery. If you don’t fall within those categories, you can expect to pay an extremely reasonable price for one.
For the 2017/18 FREE vaccination service, the eligible groups are as follows:
- all people aged 65 years and over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2017);
- people aged from 18 to less than 65 years of age with one or more of the following medical conditions:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis;
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure;
- chronic kidney disease at stage three, four or five;
- chronic liver disease;
- chronic neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability;
- immunosuppresion, a weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment);
- asplenia or splenic dysfunction;
- morbid obesity*
- pregnant women aged 18 or over (including those women who become pregnant during the flu season);
- people aged 18 or over living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilitie
- carers aged 18 or over; or
- household contacts of immunocompromised individuals who are aged 18 or over.
Your GP Surgery
Of course, your GP surgery will be offering you a Flu Jab so if you’d like to have it there, make sure you book an appointment before hand or give them a call to find out how they’re going to conduct it this year.
We’re protecting the Community!
Of course, you can get the Flu Jab at all five of our branches in Sheffield, and we’re proud to have protected 1000’s of people in the Community over the years. Our pharmacists are highly trained to not only give you the vaccination but to advise on the best methods for avoiding influenza to keep you and your family safe.
As part of the NHS, we’ll be offering the Flu Jab FREE to those who fall under certain conditions (very similar to your GP practice) and privately for at the price of £10. Give us a call to enquire or simply pop into store today and get yourself protect this winter.
You can also find our pharmacies at https://pharmacyflujabs.co.uk