Flu vaccination: The principle issues to know concerning the 2019 programme

Please word we can not reply any questions that relate to particular person well being issues. You need to seek the advice of your GP or specialist marketing consultant.

What’s flu?

Flu is an acute viral an infection of the respiratory tract, often characterised by a fever, chills, headache, aching muscle groups, joint ache and fatigue. It’s a extremely infectious virus completely different to the widespread chilly, and spreads quickly in closed communities and even folks with gentle or no signs can infect others.

Flu kills a mean of 8,000 folks yearly, and it may be significantly severe in older adults, very younger kids, and other people with underlying well being situations.

Why get the vaccine and who’s eligible?

The flu vaccine stays the most effective defence now we have in opposition to flu and protects these people who find themselves most weak.

Sure teams of persons are at larger threat from flu, together with adults aged 65 and over, these with underlying well being situations, pregnant ladies, and frontline well being and social care staff.

In 2019/20, the flu vaccination will likely be provided to:

these aged 65 years and over
these aged 6 months to underneath 65 years in scientific threat teams
pregnant ladies
these residing in a residential or nursing dwelling
the primary carer of an older or disabled individual
kids aged 2-3 (on 31 August 2019) and all main faculty aged kids

Employers of frontline well being and social care staff even have a duty to make sure their employees can get the free vaccine.

What’s new for 2019?

Extra folks than ever at the moment are eligible for the flu vaccine and 25 million folks in England will likely be provided it without spending a dime by the NHS. For the primary time, the nasal spray vaccine will likely be provided to all main faculty aged kids, which suggests an additional 600,000 kids will likely be protected.

A model new flu vaccination advertising marketing campaign for well being and social care staff has additionally launched, delivered by PHE, NHS England and NHS Enchancment. “Time to get your flu jab” takes a brand new strategy, emphasising the protecting good thing about the flu vaccination of themselves, their household, and their sufferers.

A wider vary of flu vaccines at the moment are accessible which ought to supply higher safety. This consists of the ‘adjuvanted’ vaccine which was provided to these aged 65 years and over for the first-time final 12 months and offered the next stage of safety in comparison with the usual non-adjuvanted vaccines on this age group.

As well as, a brand new cell-based vaccine which protects in opposition to 4 strains of flu (quadrivalent) can even be accessible for these aged 65 and over, and people underneath 65 with underlying medical situations. Because the vaccine virus is grown in cells, moderately than eggs, this avoids the adjustments that may happen when utilizing eggs within the manufacturing course of. There may be growing proof in current seasons that egg adaptation could imply that vaccines don’t work as properly, significantly in opposition to the A(H3N2) virus pressure.

This vaccine ought to supply higher safety for older folks in opposition to flu than standard-dose, non-adjuvanted vaccines which might be grown in eggs. The cell-based vaccine is due to this fact thought-about equally appropriate for older adults because the ‘adjuvated’ vaccine.  For underneath 65s with underlying well being situations and pregnant ladies , each the quadrivalent egg-based vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine are equally appropriate We advise that you may settle for any of the vaccines really helpful on your age.

How do we all know which strains ought to go into the flu vaccine?

The World Well being Group (WHO) opinions the worldwide scenario (as soon as for the Northern Hemisphere vaccine and as soon as for the Southern Hemisphere) annually and recommends which flu strains ought to go within the vaccine to be manufactured for the next season. This suggestion is predicated on the viruses circulating every season and epidemiological information from world wide.

The WHO has to decide on which strains of flu to guard in opposition to, earlier than flu begins circulating a number of months later the next season. This 12 months, the next strains have been utilized in vaccines:

an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
an A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus;
a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage); and
a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage).

What occurred final 12 months?

Final winter, 5,505 folks have been reported hospitalised due to confirmed flu in a community of 24 trusts in England. 3,157 folks have been admitted to an Intensive Care Unit or Excessive Dependency Unit on account of confirmed flu throughout the entire UK in the course of the 2018/19 flu season, of whom 312 died.

In 2018/19, there have been an estimated 1,692 deaths related to flu.

The flu vaccine uptake charges in key eligible teams final season have been:

adults aged 65 or older: 72.0%
adults in at-risk teams: 48.0%
pregnant ladies: 45.2%
kids aged 2: 43.8%
kids aged 3: 45.9%

There may be clearly nonetheless room for enchancment throughout the vaccination programme and we urge everybody who’s eligible or answerable for an eligible individual to consider defending their well being with the vaccine this winter.

How can I shield myself, my household and people round me from the flu?

Flu may be very infectious and the virus can dwell on arms and exhausting surfaces for as much as 24 hours. That is why it is very important “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” – “Catch” any sneezes in a tissue, “Bin” any tissues instantly and “Kill” the virus by washing your arms with cleaning soap and heat water. Keep away from contact with sick folks and wash your arms usually with cleaning soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub. In case you are unwell, take care of your self, drink loads of fluids and keep at dwelling so that you don’t unfold flu to others.

The vaccine stays the most effective defence now we have to guard in opposition to the unfold of flu and we encourage everybody eligible to get it annually.

Ought to Aussie flu be a priority this season?

What occurs in Australia just isn’t a transparent predictor of the UK’s flu season. Australia had an early begin to the flu season than lately. It follows the earlier season (2018) of very low exercise, however general numbers are prone to be decrease than these seen in 2017.

Will EU Exit influence on the supply of flu vaccines into the nation?

Flu vaccines are usually delivered from September to November. This 12 months nearly all of flu vaccines are anticipated to be within the UK by the tip of October.

Public Well being England manages vital stockpiles of vaccine; together with the availability and distribution of youngsters’s flu vaccines.

We don’t anticipate any delays to the vaccine for the youngsters’s flu programme on account of EU Exit. Phased deliveries all through the season are traditional and obligatory because the vaccine has a really brief shelf life.

Further planning—working carefully with vaccine suppliers—has and continues to happen to minimise the chance of provide disruption for all centrally equipped vaccines following EU Exit.

Get extra details about flu by visiting the NHS web site.


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