Get your flu jab
UHP colleagues can now receive their seasonal vaccinations for winter 2022
As a health or social care worker, you’re more likely to be exposed to the flu and COVID-19 viruses. You also care for people who may be at greater risk and it’s easy to pass these viruses on without knowing.
Both flu and COVID-19 can be life threatening and getting both flu and COVID-19 increases risk of serious illness. Even if you are healthy, you can still catch these viruses and spread them to your patients.
The flu and COVID-19 vaccines are vital for helping to protect our staff and those they care for, and they are the best defence we have against these potentially life threatening viruses.
The flu vaccine and the COVID-19 autumn booster vaccination will be available from September. Those who have not started or completed their primary course of the COVID-19 vaccine are urged to get their vaccinations as soon as possible. Primary course doses can be started at any time.
The COVID-19 booster may be offered through your employer or you can book through the National Booking Service or by calling 119 or find a walk-in appointment through the online vaccination walk-in finder. Additionally, those working in care homes could be offered opportunity when roving teams visits care homes, however this will not always be an option.
Find out about how to get your COVID-19 booster here.
Where UHP colleagues get their flu vaccine?
There will be clinics running throughout the winter. Please keep an eye on your daily email for more information on these.
Flu vaccine FAQs
Am I eligible for a NHS flu vaccine this year?
All frontline health care and social care workers should be offered flu vaccination by their employer. This is an employer’s responsibility to help protect their staff and patients or clients and ensure the overall safe running of services. Employers should commission or implement a service which makes access to the vaccine easy for all frontline staff, encourages staff to get vaccinated, and monitors the delivery of their programme.
Frontline staff employed by the following types of social care providers without employer led occupational health scheme are eligible for an NHS flu vaccination through general practice or community pharmacy:
• a registered residential care or nursing home
• registered domiciliary care provider
• a voluntary managed hospice provider
• Direct Payment (personal budgets) or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants
The complementary NHS influenza vaccination offer for primary care staff has not been extended for the 2022 to 2023 influenza season. Influenza vaccinations for primary care staff, like other frontline healthcare staff, revert to being an employer’s occupational health responsibility.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is your best protection against the virus. It will not stop all flu viruses but if you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely that if you do still catch the flu the disease will be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been. It takes the immune response about two weeks to fully develop after vaccination.
Will I get any side effects from the flu vaccine?
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.
Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:
• slightly raised temperature
• muscle aches
• sore arm where the needle went in – this is more likely to happen with the vaccine for people aged 65 and over
Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:
• continue to move your arm regularly
• take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – some people, including those who are pregnant, should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends it.
Will the flu jab give me flu?
No. The injected vaccine used for adults does not contain any live viruses, so it cannot cause flu. Some people get a slightly raised temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, and you may feel sore at the injection site.
Can I have the flu vaccine if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
JCVI advice recommends that you should have a flu vaccine if you are eligible. You should have the flu vaccine if you're pregnant to help protect you and your baby. It's safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from the first few weeks up to your expected due date. Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives. It's safe for women who are breastfeeding to have the vaccine.
Is there anyone that shouldn’t get the flu vaccine?
There will be a small number of people where it is advised that you should not have a flu vaccine, for example if you have ever had a serious allergy to the vaccine, or any of its ingredients. If you are allergic to eggs or have a condition that weakens your immune system, you may not be able to have certain types of flu vaccine – check with your vaccinator. If you have a fever, the vaccination may be delayed until you are better.
I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need to have it again?
Yes, because the viruses that cause flu can change every year. This means the flu (and the vaccine) this year may be different from last year. If you had the flu vaccine last year, either because you were and health and social care worker, pregnant or because you're in a vulnerable group, you need to have it again this year.
Do I still need to get my flu jab if I’ve had all of my COVID-19 vaccines?
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine does not protect you from flu, and vice versa. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both.
I’ve recently had COVID-19, can I still have my flu vaccine?
If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s still safe to have the flu vaccine, however you may wish to reschedule your appointment if you are currently experiencing a high temperature or acute illness on the day of the appointment. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu. For advice and information about the flu vaccination, visit www.nhs.uk/flujab.