Lung Health Checks

The Importance of Lung Health Checks Attending a lung health check can lead to early diagnosis and successful treatment of respiratory conditions. Telephone Assessment A telephone assessment is a crucial step in the healthcare process that involves a 20-minute conversation with a trained nurse.

Flu & Covid Clinics 2023-24

NHS Flu Vaccination Programme 2023

We are starting our Flu Clinics in September for all eligible patients.

We have walk in clinics taking place at West Wing on:

Saturday 23rd September

Contact our surgery to book an appointment and find out about our upcoming Covid Clinics.

Contact about Eligibility

You must be over 18 and eligible to attend these clinics.

Please see below for information on eligibility:

Dr Sims and Partners supports the NHS Flu Vaccination Programme

Who can have the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who:

  • are 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2024)
  • have certain long term health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

Information about the flu vaccination

Flu vaccination is safe and effective for adults and children. It’s offered every year through the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.

You can find out more information about via the video and information below within this post.

Protecting your child against flu British Sign Language (BSL) video

Why is flu vaccination important?

The importance of receiving flu immunisation cannot be emphasised enough, given the potential harm and even danger it can pose to vulnerable individuals with underlying health conditions. While the symptoms may only be mild for some, the potential risks should not be disregarded.

To achieve maximum protection, it is highly recommended to receive the flu vaccine in the fall or early winter months before the onset of the flu season. However, one can still receive the vaccine at a later time and obtain the necessary protection against the flu.

5 reasons to vaccinate your child from flu

Protecting your child against flu has its advantages, and doing it ahead of the flu season reduces severe risks to your family.

The following 5 reasons to vaccinate your child include;

1. Protect your child

The vaccine will help protect your child against flu and serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

2. Protect you, your family and friends

Vaccinating your child will help protect more vulnerable friends and family.

3. No injection needed

The nasal spray is painless and easy to have.

4. It’s better than having flu

The nasal spray helps protect against flu, has been given to millions of children worldwide and has an excellent safety record.

5. Avoid costs

If your child gets flu, you may have to take time off work or arrange alternative childcare.

Protecting the country against deadly viruses in September

Ahead of winter, the NHS is looking to protect and safeguard the UK from deadly viruses including adults and children.

Beginning in September 2023, the NHS intends to offer the flu vaccine to a several children across the country.

The vaccination programme will be done by extending the flu vaccine coverage to millions of children across the UK.

It will commence the flu programme with a strategic approach to administer flu vaccinations through schools and community clinics.

Consequently, it will reduce the likelihood of children requiring hospitalisation, thereby alleviating the burden on the healthcare system.

Moreover, this preventive measure will effectively disrupt the transmission chain and spread of the virus across the wider population.

Those with enduring health afflictions may receive the vaccine via GP surgeries.

This is to reduce the potential threat of serious illness to the younger population. In addition, children aged 2 and 3 years may seek an appointment with their GP practice for the same purpose.

Questions and answers about the flu vaccination

Below are some questions with answers for parents and individuals regarding the flu vaccination:

Why should I have the flu vaccine?

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness.

This can last several days or more. Some people develop complications and need to go to hospital for treatment.

What are the benefits of the vaccine?

Having the vaccine will help protect you from what can be a very nasty illness. It can help you avoid having to miss out on the things you enjoy and disruption to your education.

Why are so many young people being offered the vaccine?

The vaccine will help protect you against flu and reduces the chance of you spreading flu to others, so in turn helps protect your family and friends.

It will help to reduce flu levels in the population in the winter when there may be pressure on the NHS with COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses in circulation.

I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need another one this year?

Yes. Flu viruses change every year, so the vaccine may be updated.

For this reason, we recommend that you are vaccinated against flu again this year, even if vaccinated last year.

How will the vaccine be given?

It is usually given as a nasal spray.

So how does the nasal spray work?

The nasal spray contains viruses that have been weakened to prevent them from causing flu but will help you to build up immunity.

The vaccine is absorbed quickly in the nose, so even if you sneeze immediately after having had the spray, there’s no need to worry that it hasn’t worked.

Are there any side effects of the vaccine?

You may develop a runny or blocked nose, headache, general tiredness, and some loss of appetite.

However, these are much less serious than developing flu and its complications. Serious side effects are uncommon.

What if I’m not feeling well on the day?

The vaccination may be delayed if you have a fever. Also, if you have a heavily blocked or runny nose, it might stop the vaccine getting into your system.

In this case, the flu vaccination can be postponed until your nasal symptoms have cleared up.

What about those young people who have a long-term health condition?

If you have a health condition that puts you at higher risk of serious complications from flu, you should have the flu vaccine every year.

If you have one of these health conditions and are not in one of the groups being offered flu vaccine at school, you can also ask your GP surgery to give you the vaccine.

You can also ask your GP surgery to do this if, for example, you don’t want to wait until the school vaccination session.

Are there any young people who shouldn’t have the nasal vaccine?

The nasal spray vaccine is offered to young people as it is more effective in the programme than the injected vaccine.

However, some young people with long term health conditions may not be able to have the nasal vaccine.

More details shortly. Your parents will be given a consent form to complete ahead of the vaccination, which will include questions to check whether it is suitable for you.

They can speak with the school immunisation team if they have any questions. If you cannot have the nasal spray, you’ll be offered an injectable flu vaccine.

Who shouldn’t have the nasal vaccine?

Instead of the nasal spray vaccine, you should have an injected flu vaccine if you are:

  • currently wheezy or have been wheezy in the past 72 hours;
  • have a very weakened immune system or someone in your household needs isolation because they are severely immunosuppressed;
  • have a condition that needs salicylate treatment;
  • have had an anaphylactic reaction to a flu vaccine or any of the components in the past other than egg.

Young people who have been vaccinated with the nasal spray should avoid close contact with people with very severely weakened immune systems.

For example, those who have just had a bone marrow transplant for around two weeks following vaccination. If contact is likely or unavoidable, then an alternative flu vaccine should be given.

If you’re not sure, check with the school immunisation team or the nurse or GP at your surgery.

Parents should seek the advice of your specialist if you have had a severe allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, to egg in the past that required intensive care treatment, asthma that’s being treated with steroid tablets or required intensive care treatment in hospital.

Does the nasal vaccine contain gelatine derived from pigs, porcine gelatine?

Yes, the nasal vaccine contains a highly processed form of gelatine, porcine gelatine, which is used in a range of many essential medicines.

The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable so that the vaccine provides the best protection against flu.

The nasal vaccine is offered to children and young people as it is more effective in the programme than the injected vaccine.

This is because it is easier to administer and considered better at reducing the spread of flu to others who may be more vulnerable to the complications of flu.

However, if you are at high risk from flu due to one or more medical conditions or treatments and can’t have the nasal flu vaccine, you should have the flu vaccine by injection.

For those who may not accept the use of porcine gelatine in medical products, an alternative injectable vaccine is available. Your parents should discuss the options with the school immunisation team.

Questions and answers about the flu vaccination

Below are some questions with answers for parents and individuals regarding the flu vaccination:

Why should I have the flu vaccine?

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness.

This can last several days or more. Some people develop complications and need to go to hospital for treatment.

What are the benefits of the vaccine?

Having the vaccine will help protect you from what can be a very nasty illness. It can help you avoid having to miss out on the things you enjoy and disruption to your education.

Why are so many young people being offered the vaccine?

The vaccine will help protect you against flu and reduces the chance of you spreading flu to others, so in turn helps protect your family and friends.

It will help to reduce flu levels in the population in the winter when there may be pressure on the NHS with COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses in circulation.

I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need another one this year?

Yes. Flu viruses change every year, so the vaccine may be updated.

For this reason, we recommend that you are vaccinated against flu again this year, even if vaccinated last year.

How will the vaccine be given?

It is usually given as a nasal spray.

So how does the nasal spray work?

The nasal spray contains viruses that have been weakened to prevent them from causing flu but will help you to build up immunity.

The vaccine is absorbed quickly in the nose, so even if you sneeze immediately after having had the spray, there’s no need to worry that it hasn’t worked.

Are there any side effects of the vaccine?

You may develop a runny or blocked nose, headache, general tiredness, and some loss of appetite.

However, these are much less serious than developing flu and its complications. Serious side effects are uncommon.

What if I’m not feeling well on the day?

The vaccination may be delayed if you have a fever. Also, if you have a heavily blocked or runny nose, it might stop the vaccine getting into your system.

In this case, the flu vaccination can be postponed until your nasal symptoms have cleared up.

What about those young people who have a long-term health condition?

If you have a health condition that puts you at higher risk of serious complications from flu, you should have the flu vaccine every year.

If you have one of these health conditions and are not in one of the groups being offered flu vaccine at school, you can also ask your GP surgery to give you the vaccine.

You can also ask your GP surgery to do this if, for example, you don’t want to wait until the school vaccination session.

Are there any young people who shouldn’t have the nasal vaccine?

The nasal spray vaccine is offered to young people as it is more effective in the programme than the injected vaccine.

However, some young people with long term health conditions may not be able to have the nasal vaccine.

More details shortly. Your parents will be given a consent form to complete ahead of the vaccination, which will include questions to check whether it is suitable for you.

They can speak with the school immunisation team if they have any questions. If you cannot have the nasal spray, you’ll be offered an injectable flu vaccine.

Who shouldn’t have the nasal vaccine?

Instead of the nasal spray vaccine, you should have an injected flu vaccine if you are:

  • currently wheezy or have been wheezy in the past 72 hours;
  • have a very weakened immune system or someone in your household needs isolation because they are severely immunosuppressed;
  • have a condition that needs salicylate treatment;
  • have had an anaphylactic reaction to a flu vaccine or any of the components in the past other than egg.

Young people who have been vaccinated with the nasal spray should avoid close contact with people with very severely weakened immune systems.

For example, those who have just had a bone marrow transplant for around two weeks following vaccination. If contact is likely or unavoidable, then an alternative flu vaccine should be given.

If you’re not sure, check with the school immunisation team or the nurse or GP at your surgery.

Parents should seek the advice of your specialist if you have had a severe allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, to egg in the past that required intensive care treatment, asthma that’s being treated with steroid tablets or required intensive care treatment in hospital.

Does the nasal vaccine contain gelatine derived from pigs, porcine gelatine?

Yes, the nasal vaccine contains a highly processed form of gelatine, porcine gelatine, which is used in a range of many essential medicines.

The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable so that the vaccine provides the best protection against flu.

The nasal vaccine is offered to children and young people as it is more effective in the programme than the injected vaccine.

This is because it is easier to administer and considered better at reducing the spread of flu to others who may be more vulnerable to the complications of flu.

However, if you are at high risk from flu due to one or more medical conditions or treatments and can’t have the nasal flu vaccine, you should have the flu vaccine by injection.

For those who may not accept the use of porcine gelatine in medical products, an alternative injectable vaccine is available. Your parents should discuss the options with the school immunisation team.

Long term health conditions that put you more at risk from flu

These conditions include:

  • serious breathing problems such as asthma,
  • needing regular use of steroid inhaler or tablets;
  • serious heart conditions;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • diabetes;
  • weakened immune system as a result of a condition or treatment with medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy;
  • problems with the spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or the spleen has been removed;
  • learning disability;
  • problems with the nervous system, such as cerebral palsy.

For more information regarding children flu vaccination, visit the NHS website via this link.

For more general information regarding the flu vaccination, visit the NHS website via this link.

If you want to learn more about the East Basildon PCN and stay updated in the community, visit this link to the East Basildon PCN website.