Flu vaccinations are available at LloydsPharmacy between September and February.
Am I eligible for a free flu jab?
High risk categories:
If you fall outside of the eligibility group you can still choose to get vaccinated against flu and help prevent this debilitating infection from spoiling your winter. We can provide the flu jab for you at a small cost (£10) in selected LloydsPharmacy stores.
How do I know if I can I have flu jab?
You can use this service if you are 18 or over (16 or over for our private service, except Northern Ireland) and in good health. However, there are some exceptions (i.e. if you have a viral infection), but the pharmacist will determine your suitability during your consultation.
Do I need to book an appointment?
It is not necessary to book a flu jab (you can just call into your local vaccinating pharmacy), however, if it would be more convenient, you can select your preferred appointment date and time via our online booking preference form and one of our pharmacy staff will call you to confirm your booking.
How quickly does the flu jab take effect?
This can take between 2 to 3 weeks to become fully effective.
Should I get vaccinated against winter flu every year?
Yes, the virus that causes flu changes every year, so you should get vaccinated this year even if you had the flu vaccination last year. The flu vaccination this year also covers you against the H1N1 swine flu virus.
I had the flu vaccination last year but still caught flu. Why?
The flu vaccination is the best protection against the most common strains of flu. However the vaccination is not protective against all the different viruses which can produce flu-like symptoms. Getting vaccinated significantly reduces your chances of getting flu. Also, as the flu vaccination takes up to two weeks to become fully effective, it is still possible to be affected by flu during this time.
Will the flu vaccination give me flu?
No, the flu vaccination only contains inactive particles of the flu viruses so it can't cause flu. If you get flu immediately after receiving the flu vaccination it is likely to be because the vaccination has not yet become fully effective. You should therefore have the flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccination?
Most people don't experience any adverse effects, however the most common side effects are general aches and pains, a rash at the injection site and feeling tired. These will usually go away within a day or two, but if symptoms do persist you'll need to see your GP. If your arm feels sore apply a cold flannel and take painkillers if necessary. If you have a headache or slight fever, drink plenty of water and take painkillers if necessary, such as paracetamol. Please ask your pharmacist for more advice. Other side effects are very rare and include nerve pain, inflammation of the nerves or blood vessels, fits, blood disorders and neurological disorders.
What is my risk of a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccination?
Serious side effects are extremely rare, however all Lloydspharmacy staff providing this service are fully trained in managing what is called 'anaphylaxis'. Anaphylaxis can occur when a patient has a severe allergic reaction to a vaccination they are given. Symptoms can include fainting, shortness of breath, falling blood pressure and swelling of the face and throat. Anaphylaxis is extremely rare and typically happens within ten minutes of a patient receiving the injection.
Should I take a break from working out after the flu vaccination?
Not particularly. It’s not like giving blood where there would be a risk of bleeding from the vein, as the flu vaccine is not given into a vein. Some people may experience a sore arm, so the advice is just to be sensible.
Why is it a bad idea to get the flu jab when sick?
When you are ill with another infection and running a temperature, your immune system will already be busy fighting off that infection, so it wouldn’t be advisable to give any type of vaccination.
Do I need to inform my GP?
It's important that you inform your GP of your flu vaccination. Your pharmacist can tell you the name of the flu vaccination you receive.