You’ve seen the ads urging you to get your flu shot, maybe your mom, neighbor or friend told you they had it—but you didn’t make the time. A cold isn’t much worse than the real flu, right?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
As the famous doctor Dr. Hilary Jones says: “11,000 people die of flu in a good year” – according to NHS statistics in England alone. The total is higher when you look at the UK and Ireland figures on top of that.
And even if you’re not at risk of serious complications, someone close to you might be – and the flu can leave you sick and bedridden, missing work and feeling like crap for days.
So, getting your flu jab can be a smart idea everywhere – whether or not you deserve it for free.
As the winter chill sets in, we asked Dr Hilary to answer all our tough questions about the flu…
Why is the flu jab important this year?“The winter vaccination campaign is very important because if we look at Covid and flu now, we expect another peak after Christmas as people are more indoors. If you have it now, you may be able to spread it to other people. Immunization declines after the first Covid vaccine, Jones said.
“Australia has had a bad flu winter, and we expect to see that reflected in our winter here, now that all our safety is down following the Covid restrictions.
“This could be a terrible winter, we’ve seen such high levels in the southern hemisphere of flu, and Covid is back in full force again. Exposure to both would be bad news for most people,” he said. We know it’s safe, so it makes sense to do it. I did it.”
Should young people get the flu jab?
The NHS vaccination program offers free flu jabs to those thought to be at high risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus – including anyone aged 50 and over, as well as people with certain health conditions, their carers, and pregnant women.
However, even if you don’t qualify for a free jab, you can still pay to have one – usually very easily at high street pharmacies.
“If you’re in your 20s or 30s, the flu jab is uncomfortable but you can get the vaccine privately and it makes sense to do that,” Jones said. That way, you can protect yourself and those around you.
Can I get both winter vaccines together?
Jones says she got the flu and Covid vaccine at the same time. If they are available where you are, you can connect them. It is effective and safe, there are no side effects of this supplement. There is no reason to doubt,” he said.
“The flu vaccine does not contain any live virus, so it is a myth that we can give it to you. “If you feel sick, it’s probably the flu,” added Jones.
Do I still have a fever if I have the jab?
Unfortunately, yes. As Jones explains: “You still have a fever after the jab because it’s based on three circulating viruses and it’s designed to protect against those, but not all.”
So, while you may still get the flu, generally speaking the chances will be lower and it may be milder.Why do some people get so sick with the flu?
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if someone has the flu or just a bad cold. But the flu can really sweep you away and leave you feeling unwell – people’s bodies can sometimes react differently.
“Some people get sick more because of their underlying immune system. “Now, we’re all at risk of foreclosure after foreclosure,” Jones said.
How are influenza strains protected from selection?
Jones explains: “When deciding which type to protect against, the WHO looks at the viruses that are most dangerous to the general population.”
Should I get jabs if I’m pregnant?
Jones believes this is wise, as the vaccine protects pregnant women and their babies, which is why they are among those given free jabs.
“In adulthood, it’s more important that it’s done, it’s very safe, it doesn’t have any side effects, and the danger is greater if you don’t have it than if you do it,” he said. “Your baby is more likely to be born prematurely, have a low birth weight or be stillborn if you get Covid or the flu during pregnancy.”
Where can I book?
To find out more, visit nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/