Shipston Medical Centre encourages everyone who is eligible to receive a vaccination against flu on the NHS to take advantage of this. Flu is a nasty virus which can cause unpleasant symptoms such as fever, headache, cough, muscle pain and extreme fatigue. Flu can also lead to complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and the impact of these conditions can be significant.
Every year, the strains of flu are monitored and the likely evolution of the disease is mapped. This process leads to the development of the vaccination each year. This makes the vaccines as effective as possible as they are designed to target the most common flu strains each year.
This year, the national programme includes an adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV) vaccine for those people over the age of 65 years. This vaccine has been used widely in Europe, Canada and the US and has been shown to offer a greater level of protection than the vaccine used previously for people of this age.
Those aged between 18 and 65, who are at risk of catching flu, will receive a quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) which protects against four strains of flu.
Children eligible for a vaccination should receive a quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), which is a nasal vaccine. All children who were born on or after 1st September 2014 and on or before 31st August 2016 are eligible for vaccine at Shipston Medical Centre as well as those older children who receive a letter of invitation for flu vaccine from Shipston Medical Centre. (All primary school aged children born between 1.9.2008 and 31.8.2014 will be offered vaccination at school). It is important to note that the effectiveness of this vaccine is good and that children under the age of 5 have the highest rate of hospital Admission for flu of all age groups.
During previous years flu vaccination programmes the clinical advise has been that all adults received the same type of vaccine, which fitted with our tried and tested method of offering clinics. However, the range of vaccines, along with a planned slower supply for the aTIV vaccination (for those aged 65 and over on 31st March 2019), means that we will be asking patients to book an appointment for their vaccination.
The practice has ordered enough vaccine to immunise those eligible patients who wish to be vaccinated. However, nationally the delivery of the aTIV will be spread out over September, October and November, and consequently there will be a longer wait than usual to have the vaccine for some individuals. As we need to prioritise the most vulnerable patients (people over the age of 75 years and those whose situations make them exceptionally vulnerable) fitter 65 year olds and over will not be invited for their vaccinations until later in the year than has been the case in previous years.
Please help us by booking an appointment for your flu vaccination when invited to do so.