Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications. In light of the risk of flu and COVID-19 co-circulating this winter, the national flu immunisation programme will be absolutely essential to protecting vulnerable people and supporting the resilience of the health and care system. The vaccination changes each year, so even if you had the vaccination last year, you won’t be protected against this year’s flu strain.
Here, at Lewisham Medical Centre, our number one priority is ensuring the safety of our patients and staff. We will therefore continue to operate with our strict COVID-safe infection control, throughout the practice.
You are eligible for a free flu vaccination if you fall in any of the below categories:
adults 65 and over
people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
people living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
in primary school*
in year 7 (secondary school)*
frontline health or social care workers
*these groups should be vaccinated in schools rather than in the practice
If you don't fall into any of these categories, you can still get a flu jab privately at your local pharmacy. Find out more here.
Still unsure if you are eligible, feel free to give us a call on the number below. Additional eligibility for those between 50-64 (and not falling into the categories above) may be added later in the year.
This year there will be four vaccines in circulation - your clinician will select the correct one based on age and allergies and go through this with you at your appointment. Children are eligible for nasal spray vaccines.
All vaccines have either been inactivated or weakened so they cannot give you the flu.
Want to understand the vaccines further, read more here.
If you have received a text inviting you to book your flu vaccination, please use Patient Access to book.
If you don't yet have an account with Patient Access Online, you can register here. If you do not have access to the internet, please call the surgery on the number below to book your appointment.
Prior to arriving at the surgery please inform the surgery if:
You have ever had a reaction to a flu vaccination
You are are feeling unwell, have a raised temperature or are experiencing coronavirus symptoms
You have any allergies
When you are coming to the surgery please make sure:
You are wearing a top that makes it easy to roll up the sleeves
Arrive in good time for your appointment
Take off your coat and have any questions ready before you are called for your vaccination
You should arrive in the consultation room with your sleeve rolled up on the arm you don't write with. Your appointment with the clinician will be extremely quick (less than 5 minutes), however feel free to ask any question if you are feeling unsure about anything.
Like all vaccines, flu vaccination can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. For example, you may get a mild high temperature or slight muscle aches for a day or two. Some people may also have a sore arm after vaccination.
Most reactions are mild or moderate and resolve within 1 to 2 days. To ease the discomfort, continue to move the arm regularly and take a painkiller such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if needed. If you experience any more severe side effects, including any possible side effects not listed above, please call the surgery and you will be appropriately sign posted to the correct service.
The injected flu vaccine cannot cause flu because there are no active viruses in the vaccine. If you have what you think is flu after vaccination, it may be that you have caught a flu-like virus that's not really flu, or you may have caught flu before your flu vaccination had taken effect.
Find out more about flu vaccination on the NHS website here.