East Basildon PCN supports the NHS Flu Vaccination Programme
In September 2023, the 4 practices that make up the East Basildon PCN, serving approximately 27,000 patients, will support the NHS flu vaccination programme.
The 4 practices in East Basildon consist of:
- Dr Sims and Partners
- Felmores Medical Centre
- Aryan Medical Centre
- Matching Green Surgery
Each practice will allocate days where patients can visit their surgery to receive the flu vaccination before winter begins.
NHS Flu vaccination programme videos
Creating Awareness – Protecting your child against flu – British Sign Language (BSL) video –
Flu vaccination videos for carers and people with learning disabilities
It is important that the right information is available to carers and people with a learning disability.
Watch the relevant videos below for more information.
Flu vaccinations for people with a learning disability – video
Flu vaccinations for people with a learning disability (Carers) – video
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.
ACTION… Download and share with other parents to spread awareness of protecting families and communities from this winter’s flu season.
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.
Using the programme to protect yourself against flu
Information for those in secondary school.
Flu immunisation is helping to protect you against flu.
The following is information from the NHS and UK Health Security Agency.
Flu vaccine is offered free to children aged two or three years old on the 31st of August before flu vaccinations start in the autumn.
All primary school-aged children. Some secondary school-aged children. Children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu.
Talk to the school immunisation team, your GP or practise nurse if you have any further questions.
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;
- 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.
Understanding how vaccines work
Questions and answers about the NHS flu vaccination programme
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.
Furthermore, 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.
Therefore, 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.
For more information about the child flu vaccine, click on this link to visit the NHS website.
For more information on the flu vaccine in general, click on this link visit the NHS website.
Finding local information for NHS flu vaccination programme
Visit the relevant website of your local East Basildon GP practice for more information regarding clinic dates and locations.Dr Sims and Partners – Visit the website via this link for more information. Felmores Medical Centre – Visit the website via this link for more information. Aryan Medical Centre – Visit the website via this link for more information. Matching Green Surgery – Visit the website via this link for more information.
If you have any general queries that you would like to address, click on this link to visit our general queries page.