Healthcare Professionals

This section is intended for healthcare professionals and associated healthcare employees in the UK only – this includes GPs, nurses, practice managers, GP practice administration support, pharmacists and pharmacy counter assistants.

If you are not a healthcare professional or healthcare employee, you should not enter this section – information regarding flu can be found on the main website.

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE

Flu Risks for Those 65 and Over

As we get older, it’s important to stay as fit and healthy as possible, and this includes avoiding the flu.

If you are 65 years of age or over, you are at a greater risk of developing severe complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia1.

This is because the immune response may also be less effective as you get older or you may have more underlying diseases than younger adults, which reduce your resistance to infection2.

It is estimated that up to 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalisations have occurred among people in that age group3.

If you have another disease or condition such as diabetes or heart problems, you should always check with your pharmacist before buying over-the-counter cold and flu treatments, as these may affect other medications you have been prescribed.

 

Protecting yourself from flu

The flu viruses predominantly circulate during the winter. So you should think about how to help protect yourself as the flu season approaches, as this is when you are most vulnerable.

Vaccination is the most effective way to avoid developing the flu4, and if you are aged 65 and over you are eligible for a free flu vaccination on the NHS. Get vaccinated early – from October to early November – to ensure you’re protected right through the winter.

Getting a flu vaccination doesn’t just help protect you, it can also help to prevent you spreading the flu to your spouse, children and grandchildren. If you have a carer or home help, it is worth discussing flu prevention measures with them to help reduce the spread of infection.

You can get your free flu vaccination* at your GP surgery or in a pharmacy. Most pharmacies in the UK now offer both the NHS free flu jab as well as a private jab. This might be a more convenient option for you. Enter your postcode in the search box above to find your nearest local flu clinic.

*Free NHS jabs are available only to those who fall within the current risk categories.

 

References

1. Flu and the flu vaccine.
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth/Pages/Fluandthefluvaccine.aspx (accessed July 2017)

2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Q&A on seasonal influenza. https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/seasonal-influenza/facts/questions-and-answers-seasonal-influenza (accessed July 2017)

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season If You Are 65 Years and Older http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm (accessed July 2017)

4. World Health Organization. Influenza (Seasonal) Fact Sheet No. 211, November 2016.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/index.html (accessed July 2017)

 

Adverse Event Reporting

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE