Do You Qualify For A Free Flu Vaccine In North Devon?
2nd October 2016
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If you are not sure if you qualify for the free flu vaccine take a quick look at our list of those who should make sure they get immunised to prevent the potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you: 

  • are 65 years of age or over,   
  • are pregnant, 
  • have certain medical conditions, 
  • are very overweight,
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility, 
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill, 
  • are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact, or a social care worker.

Over-65s and the flu jab – If you were born on or before March 31 1951 you are entitled to a free flu jab.  If you are currently 64, but will be 65 on March 31 2016, you do qualify.

Pregnant women and the flu jab - If you're pregnant, you're advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you've reached.

That's because there's strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.

  • it reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy,
  • it reduces your risk of miscarriage, or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight because of the flu,
  • it will help protect your baby as they will continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their life.

The flu vaccine is safe to have at any stage of your pregnancy and does not carry any risks to your unborn baby.

 For people with medical conditions - including:

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma (which requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past), COPD or Bronchitis,
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure,
  • chronic kidney disease,
  • chronic liver disease, such as Hepatitis,
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's Disease or Motor Neurone Disease,
  • Diabetes,
  • problems with your spleen – for example, Sickle Cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed 
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV or AIDS, or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy.

This list of conditions isn't definitive.  It's always an issue of clinical judgment.

Flu vaccine for children - The flu vaccine is recommended for:

  • children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition,
  • healthy children aged between 2 and 4, plus children in school years one and two.

Flu jab for health and social care workers - Outbreaks of flu can occur in health and social care settings, and, because flu is so contagious, staff, patients and residents are all at risk of infection.

If you're a front-line health and social care worker, you are eligible for an NHS flu jab to protect yourself, your colleagues and other members of the community.

Flu jab for carers - If you care for someone who is elderly or disabled, speak to your GP or pharmacist about having a flu jab along with the person you care for.

If you're concerned about the flu season or the flu vaccine, speak to your GP or health care professional for more advice.

About the Author

Sarah E

Member since: 10th July 2012

I'm Sarah and I live just outside Barnstaple near Umberleigh.
I love sport especially rugby, cricket and golf and want to hear your thoughts on the site and add events and blogs on subjects that interest...

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