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Flu vaccination

Flu

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Patients living with Liver disease 

Having liver disease weakens your immune system and may limit the type of medications you can take for flu symptoms.

Flu can also worsen liver diseases or increase the rate of rejection and drug toxicity if you have had a liver transplant.

Just over a third of patients with liver disease have had their flu vaccination so far, which is why the NHS is urging you to take up the offer as soon as possible.

Dr Caroline O’Keeffe, GP in Hampshire, said: “I encourage all people with liver disease to get their flu vaccine.

“Liver disease weakens your immune system which means you are more likely to get flu. Having liver disease can also limit the type of medication we can use to treat flu, which makes flu much more unpleasant for you get it."

Please see below a short video from Hampshire GP, Dr Caroline O'Keefe, on why you should have your vaccine if you have a liver disease.

Patients with a high BMI 

People with a high BMI are being encouraged to take up the offer of having their free flu vaccine.

We understand that it’s been harder than normal to maintain a healthy weight during lockdown periods this year, but having a BMI of over 40 puts you at an increased risk of having complications associated with flu.

Just under a third of patients with a high BMI have had their flu vaccination this year and so people are being encouraged to come forward and take up the offer of the free jab.

Dr Matt Nisbet, GP in Hampshire, said: “I encourage all people with a high BMI of over 40 to get their flu vaccine.

“In practical terms this means if you are 5ft 7ins and your weight is over 18 stone or if you are 6ft and your weight is over 21 stone.

“Flu can be really unpleasant and we want to protect as many patients as possible this year.

 “It’s really important for you to be protected this winter.”

Please see below a short video from Hampshire GP, Dr Matt Nisbet, on why you should have your vaccine if you have a high BMI.

 

Pregnant women 

One of the best things a pregnant woman can do is to have the flu vaccination.

Having the flu jab at any stage of pregnancy protects women and also gives newborn babies vital protection in the first few months of their lives.

Hampshire GP Dr Nicola Decker said: “I encourage all pregnant women to get their flu vaccine. During pregnancy a woman’s immune system is naturally weakened as it works hard to protect both mum and baby. 

“Getting flu during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, having a baby born too soon or born with a low birth weight. By having your free flu vaccination, either during an appointment with your midwife or at your GP practice reduces this risk.

“It also provides protection for your baby once they are born. It’s safe to have at any stage in your pregnancy and we would encourage you to take up the offer.”

 Please see below a short video from Isle of Wight midwife, Hannah Smith, on why you should have your vaccine if you are pregnant.

Stock levels

This year the NHS is embarking on its biggest ever flu vaccination campaign. This year we are aiming to vaccinate around 4.5 million people in the South East – up from 2.6 million last winter.

The number of people eligible for a free flu vaccination has also been expanded, and there is a greater awareness from people who have understood why it is so important to get the flu jab.

The Department for Health and Social Care have secured millions of additional flu vaccines and GPs and pharmacies are now able to replenish their stocks from this central pot.

Please see below a short video from Hampshire GP Dr Matt Nisbet, on why you may have to wait for your vaccine.

 Public Health England has issued a leaflet explaining why you may need to wait at the moment for your vaccine.

General Information

The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications.

It’s not ‘just’ the flu, people will long term health conditions are more at risk of becoming seriously unwell.

The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.

  • anyone aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults aged 6 months to 65 years with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease, weakened immune system or have a learning disability)
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
  • children in primary school
  • carers
  • people living in long stay residential care homes
  • frontline health or social care workers

And this year it has also been expanded to include the following:

  • people living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • children in year 7 (secondary school)
  • People aged 50 to 64 without a long-term condition (from November onwards if sufficient vaccine stock is available)

Resources

Videos

For all of our flu video resources please click here

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Still unsure whether to get your vaccine? Please see our FAQ document.