Flu Vaccination Service


Flu Vaccination Service

Flu Vaccination Service

Page Contents
The Free NHS England & Private Flu Jabs
Signs and Symptoms of Flu
People who should have the Flu Vaccine




The flu vaccination service is available every year from P&S Chemist through NHS England, to help protect both adults and children from seasonal influenza and the health complications associated with seasonal flu. Despite flu being extremely unpleasant, if you are generally in good health it will usually clear up by itself within a week. Although, for some people, it can be much more severe, such as:

  • Those aged 65 and over.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Children and adults with an underlying health condition (long-term heart or respiratory disease).
  • Adults and children who have a weakened immune system.




The Free NHS England & Private Flu Jabs

If you are in one of the above 'risk groups', it is more likely that you could develop potentially serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia. Consequently, NHS England and P&S Chemist recommend that you get the flu vaccine every year to protect yourself. For people who are considered 'at risk' from seasonal flu and are considered at high risk of flu-related complications, the flu vaccine is provided by NHS England free of charge. You can receive your free flu jab from our pharmacy, your local pharmacy, or your doctor. You are eligible to receive your free flu jab if you:

  • Are 65 or over.
  • Are pregnant.
  • Have certain medical conditions.
  • Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facilities.
  • Receive a carer's allowance or primary carer for an elderly/disabled person who is at risk if you fall ill.
  • Front-line health and social care workers.


If you do not meet the above criteria for the free NHS England flu vaccine our pharmacy also provides the flu vaccine as a private, paid-for service. Appointments for this service can be booked online, through our website, or you can pay us an impromptu visit at P&S Chemist.




The Signs and Symptoms of Flu

Seasonal flu is spread very easily, with an incubation period that can range from 1 to 4 days, with the very quick transmission in crowded environments such as schools and nursing homes, through coughs and sneezes. Flu is characterised, in most cases by a sudden onset of fever, coughs (which are usually dry), headaches, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, and runny nose, plus the general feeling of being unwell. Generally speaking, the cough can be quite severe, lasting two weeks or more. Many people recover from the fever and other symptoms of flu within a week without the need for medical attention.

Although you should be aware that the flu can cause severe illness or even death in people who are at high risk, particularly among people aged 65 or over, or other at-risk groups, such as pregnant women, children under 59 months, the elderly, people living with a chronic medical condition (such as cardiac, pulmonary, renal, metabolic, neurodevelopmental, liver or hematologic diseases) and people with immunosuppressive conditions (such as HIV/AIDS, receiving chemotherapy or steroids, or malignancy). For more details about at-risk groups that are able to have a free flu vaccination, please see the section below.


People who should have the Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is offered free of charge by NHS England for anyone who is considered at-risk, helping to protect them against the flu and to prevent the development of serious complications as a result of contracting the flu virus. Those that are most at risk are:

Sixty-five years old and Over

People aged sixty-five (65) and over on March the 31st 2022, qualify for the flu vaccine this winter (2022/23). This winter, like the previous year, all of our patients that fall within this category will be vaccinated with the adjuvanted flu vaccine. The adjuvanted flu vaccine is a vaccine with additional, non-threatening supplements, to boost your immune response to the vaccine to make it more effective and long-lasting.

Pregnant Women

If you are pregnant P&S Chemist advises you to get vaccinated against flu, as soon as possible, irrespective of what stage of pregnancy you have reached. This is due to recent medical evidence that suggests pregnant women can have an increased risk of developing additional complications if they catch the flu. If you are pregnant, you will benefit from the flu vaccination, as it will.

  • Reduce your chances of complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the latter stages of your pregnancy.
  • Reduce your risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or your child being born with low birth weight because of the flu virus.
  • Protect your baby from the flu, as your child will continue to have a degree of protection from the flu for the first few months of their life after being born.

The flu vaccine is safe at any stage of your pregnancy, from conception to birth. Please feel free to talk to our pharmacist if you would like more information.

The Flu Vaccination for People with Medical Conditions

The flu vaccination is offered free of charge on the NHS to anyone who has a serious long-term health condition, irrespective of age. The conditions that meet these criteria are as follows:

  • Chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma (which requires the use of an inhaler or tablet steroid treatment, and the patient being previously admitted to hospital), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis.
  • Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis.
  • Chronic neurological conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, or Parkinson's Disease.
  • If you are diabetic.
  • If you have problems with your spleen, for example, Sickle Cell Disease, or if you have had your spleen removed.
  • You have a weakened immune system as a result of HIV or AIDS or are on medication such as Chemotherapy or steroid tablets.
  • If you are seriously overweight, with a BMI of 40 or above.

The above list of conditions is not definitive and as such falls under the remit of clinical judgement. Your doctor or our pharmacist can assess you, taking into account the risk of contracting the flu, which in turn could make any underlying illness you may have even worse, plus the risk of serious illness from the flu alone. In such instances, our pharmacist, along with NHS England, recommends that you should always be offered the flu vaccine. If you live with someone who has a weakened immune system, you may also be advised to have the flu vaccine, please speak to either our pharmacist at P&S Chemist or your doctor regarding this matter.


The Flu Vaccination for Health and Social Workers

When outbreaks of flu occur in health and social care environments, patients, residents, and staff are all at risk of infection because flu is extremely contagious. Consequently, if you are a front-line health and/or social care worker, you are eligible for the NHS England flu vaccine. Enabling you to protect yourself, your family, your colleagues, and other members of the community such as patients and residents. In most circumstances, it is usually your employer's responsibility to arrange your vaccination for you, although, some do not mind if you organise your own vaccination, particularly if you can get your flu jab quicker. Although, please be certain your employer will reimburse the cost. 

The Flu Vaccine for Carers

If you are the main carer for someone who is elderly, disabled, or otherwise suffering from a serious long-term health condition. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and the person you care for from the flu and will help prevent you from being stopped from your caring duties, due to the flu. Speak to our pharmacist at P&S Chemist about having the flu vaccine along with the person you care for.

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Page last reviewed: 02/10/2022
Next review date: 02/10/2024