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NHS 111

Beechfield Road, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9DL [Map]

FLU VACCINES 2018-2019


This year’s flu vaccination programme is a bit more complicated than usual. Don’t worry – we’ll do all the sorting out behind the scenes but we thought that you would like to know about the changes as you may notice some differences in how our flu clinics work this year.

There have been no changes to the groups of people recommended to have the flu vaccine. The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are ‘at risk’ to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.


You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:

* Are 65 years of age or over

* Are pregnant

* Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility

* Receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill


Have certain medical conditions such as:

* Chronic (long term) respiratory disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis

* Chronic heart disease such as heart failure or angina

* Chronic kidney disease

* Chronic liver disease, such as Hepatitis

* Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease

* Diabetes

* Problems with your spleen e.g. have had your spleen removed

* Weakened immune system due to diseases such as HIV, or treatment such as cancer treatment

* Have a high body mass index (BMI) of 40 or over



The change this year is that there are three types of flu vaccine being used. The vaccine suitable for each age group has been decided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations based on studies of which vaccine gave the best protection against flu for different age groups.


One vaccine (injectable) is licensed for patients aged 65 years and over


Another vaccine (injectable) is recommended for children aged 6 months to 2 years and for adults aged from 18 to 65 who are at increased risk from flu.


The third vaccine is a nasal spray used for 2 and 3 year olds at the GP surgery, or for school- aged children in a programme organised through schools. To determine the age (and therefore which vaccine to use) in children, the cut off is age on 31.8.18 is used. So if a child is under 2 on 31.8.18, they will be offered the injectable form and children born between 1.9.18 and 31.8.16 will be suitable for the nasal spray vaccine.


It is always a tricky job to work out how many vaccines we need and having the extra vaccine this year makes this even harder. Also there is only one manufacturer producing the second injectable vaccine and therefore this vaccine is being delivered in stages. This means that we won’t be able to get everyone in quite as early in the season as in previous years.


We will have our wonderful ‘Flu team’ of Nurses, Health care assistants and Receptionists guiding you through, ably led by our Deputy Practice Manager, Susanne Salen and new Nurse Manager, Helen Lingard. We will be offering our usual Saturday morning clinics and also running numerous smaller clinics through the week to provide appointments convenient to everyone.

Wishing you all a flu-free winter. BOOK YOUR FLU JAB SOON!


Dr Margaret Hatherell

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