COVID-19 and flu vaccines
Vaccines help everyone stay better protected.
For details of current local COVID-19 clinics across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire West visit our Stay Well website
- For more information on COVID-19 vaccination, visit: COVID-19 vaccination - NHS
- For more on flu vaccination, visit: Flu vaccine - NHS
The flu vaccine is free for younger children, older people, those in clinical risk groups and pregnant women. The flu vaccine is offered through schools for school-aged children and pregnant women can get their flu vaccine through their GP practice, pharmacy or maternity service.
The COVID-19 and the flu vaccine can be given on the same day. However, we encourage everybody to get each vaccination as soon as they can, rather than waiting to get both at the same time.
Please help to keep yourself and those around you safe against these viruses by getting vaccinated when you are invited. You can find out more about what vaccinations you may need, and information about how to book an appointment, by visiting www.nhs.uk/flujab and www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccine.
What is flu?
Flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the windpipe and lungs. Flu will often get better on its own, but it can make some people seriously ill. It's important to get the flu vaccine if you're advised to. Please note that the flu and COVID-19 vaccine can be given on the same day.
Flu is spread by coughs and sneezes. You can prevent the spread by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus. The best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
- rest and sleep
- keep warm
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
- drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)
- most children over the age of 2 are offered a nasal spray vaccine. A small number cannot have it due to pre-existing medical conditions or treatments and are offered protection through an injected vaccine instead. The nasal spray contains small traces of porcine gelatine. For those who may not accept the use of porcine gelatine in medicines, an injectable vaccine is available.
- adults are offered an injectable vaccine. There are different types, including low-egg and egg-free ones
- adults aged 65 years and over –the most common flu vaccine contains an extra ingredient to help your immune system make a stronger response to the vaccine
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a clinical risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under the age of 2.
- slightly raised temperature
- muscle aches
- sore arm where the needle went in –this is more likely to happen with the vaccine for people aged 65 and over
- continue to move your arm regularly
- take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen– some people, including those who are pregnant, should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends it.
- a runny or blocked nose
- a headache
- loss of appetite