Thursday, December 1, 2016
Important Update: NHS England has announced that ALL paid carers will be eligible for a free flu jab via community pharmacies in England. This means all employees of nursing/residential homes plus private care agency staff working in clients homes. Initially this will be by local agreements and then soon on a national basis. Please ask at your local community pharmacy
The cold weather has hit, bringing with it coughs and sniffles. While it’s all very well battling the office cold, the last thing you want to do is come down with flu.
Flu is a highly infectious disease which can be passed through coughing, sneezing or by touching infected surfaces or people. It can lead to serious complications in the elderly, pregnant women and people with long-term health conditions.
While the jab is free on the NHS for certain members of the population (more on that later), the rest of us have to pay.
To give you the best chance of staying flu-free this winter, we tracked down the cheapest place to get a jab. A survey of 2,000 people by Asda revealed that almost half of Brits aren’t protected from flu and don’t intend to vaccinate against it.
The flu vaccination is available from doctor’s practices, supermarkets and pharmacies.
Asda provides the cheapest jab, which costs just £5. Tesco provides a vaccine for £9 in 374 of its pharmacies across the UK, and Boots’ flu jab costs £12.99.
Stuart Gale, chief pharmacist at Oxford Online Pharmacy, said: “Each year the World Health Organisation will agree which strain of flu will be targeted during any given flu season.
“The vaccination is then manufactured and distributed via various outlets. The vaccination itself does not change, merely the outlet from which that vaccination is procured.”
The jab is available free on the NHS for people who are eligible, such as those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with the following medical conditions:
- Lung disease, including asthma if you’re on a preventer inhaler
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Lowered immunity due to disease (e.g. HIV) or treatment (e.g. steroid medication or cancer treatment) or you have had your spleen removed
- Neurological disease
“The idea is that the vaccination gives those who may be more susceptible to contracting the virus a better chance of fighting it off,” added Gale.
This article first appeared on Huffington Post.