WE often dread the colder seasons because of the flu.
But with the flu jab, we may no longer need to reluctantly brace ourselves for autumn and winter. Read on to find out where you can get a free jab and potential side-effects you may get…
Getty Images The most popular form of the vaccine is the nasal vaccine but injections are also available
What side effects will the flu vaccine cause?
Unfortunately, after the flu vaccine you may get mild fever and slight muscle aches over the next few days.
You may also experience flu-like symptoms – but you will not catch the flu from a flu jab.
Common side effects include:
- a runny or blocked nose
- general tiredness
- loss of appetite
To avoid muscle ache, docs recommend moving regularly, especially the arm in which you received the jab.
But serious side effects are “uncommon”, the NHS says.
In the event of a severe allergic reaction staff who give the vaccinations will administer adrenaline, to calm its effect.
Getty Images The most popular form of the vaccine is the nasal vaccine but it is available as an injection
What is the ‘universal’ flu jab?
Researchers at University of Oxford are looking for 500 NHS patients to try out a new “universal” vaccine against seasonal flu.
The experimental jab would be used at the same time as the existing flu jab.
It targets the part of the virus that doesn’t change – meaning it could protect us against all forms of human, bird and swine flu.
Patients over the age of 65, and living in Berkshire or Oxfordshire, will be invited to take part in the trial – with half getting both jabs, and the other half the existing jab and a placebo.
Scientists hope the new vaccine would last longer than a year – and could, eventually, be given at five year intervals.
How can I get a free flu jab at stores including Asda, Boots and Tesco?
The NHS offers a free flu jab – but only to certain age and health groups.
Children aged two to four years will be given the vaccine at their general practice – usually by the practice nurse.
Young kids in school years one to three are likely to receive their vaccine at school.
Pregnant women and anyone aged 65-years and older are eligible for a free jab.
But also, people with long-term heart or respiratory diseases or weakened immune systems will get a free jab.
Boots, Superdrug, Lloyds Pharmacy, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s all offer jab’s which can cost up to £20.
However people can pay for the vaccination privately.