How can you fight flu this winter?
Free flu jabs - who should have it and why
For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting virus with recovery generally within a week.
However in certain groups of people flu can be serious, they are at particular risk of severe illness and potentially serious complications, for them vaccination offers the best protection.
Flu can be more severe in certain groups such as:
- anyone aged 65 and over
- the very young
- pregnant women
- children and adults with underlying health conditions – particular long-term respiratory or heart disease
- children and adults with weakened immune systems.
For more information on who should have the free flu jab, see The Flu Vaccination booklet or visit the NHS Choices website.
You can also speak to your GP surgery or pharmacist.
Get your flu jab early
How effective is the flu jab?
Flu vaccine is the best protection we have against the flu virus which can cause serious illness. Reliable studies have shown the flu jab does work.
Will it stop everyone from getting the flu?
It may not stop all flu viruses, but you are still advised to get the flu jab because, if do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and more short-lived than it would otherwise have been.
I have had the flu jab before do I need it again?
The protection offered to you by the yearly flu jab gradually decreases over time and the flu virus changes each year. This is why people are strongly advised to have the flu jab every year.
Where to get the free flu jab?
Your GP surgery or some local pharmacies will be offering the service to adults.
Flu - facts vs fiction
The flu jab gives you flu.
The Flu jab cannot give you flu as it doesn’t contain any live viruses.
A healthy diet and vitamin C will prevent flu.
Flu is a virus and can affect anyone, no matter how good your immune system is.
The vaccine does not work, I still got the flu!
Over the last ten years, the vaccine has provided good protection against flu and it is still the best way to fight flu this winter.
I’ve never had flu so I’m not likely to get it.
The flu virus changes each year so you need to be vaccinated yearly for protection.
For more myth busting information, see the West Sussex County Council leaflet The flu jab - the facts and the fiction.