Don’t let flu spoil your winter

For most people in reasonably good health, flu doesn’t cause any complications. But while it may only last a week or so, it can be very unpleasant.

There are several possible symptoms, including a sudden fever, dry chesty cough, aching muscles, chills and pounding head – and that’s not to mention a sore throat, sneezing and runny nose. A bout of flu could also make you feel nauseated and cause vomiting, plus you may lose your appetite and have difficulty sleeping.

To say it can make you feel unwell is an understatement. No wonder most people feel they can’t continue with their usual activities when they have flu.

The good news is you can reduce your risk of catching flu this winter by having a flu jab. You can pay to have a private flu jab at lots of pharmacies – it’s quick, very convenient, and in some cases you may not even need an appointment.

Here are a few things you should be aware of:

  • If possible, have your flu jab in the autumn (though you can still have one in the winter if you don’t have the jab earlier).
  • Having a flu jab doesn’t guarantee you won’t catch flu, but it is the best way of preventing it.
  • Even if you’ve had the flu jab before you’ll need another one this year (and every winter), because flu strains change.
  • Mild side effects of the injected flu jab can include a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days, but serious side effects are very rare.

Some people can get a free flu jab on the NHS, including the over 65s, pregnant women, some carers, people with certain long-term illnesses, frontline healthcare workers and those who live in a residential or nursing home. A free nasal flu vaccine is available for children of certain ages. If you’re not sure whether or not you qualify, ask your GP for details.

Find your nearest Careway pharmacy offering flu vaccinations by using our Pharmacy Finder.