What is Seasonal Flu?
Seasonal flu occurs every year, usually in the winter. It’s a highly infectious disease caused by a number of flu viruses. The most likely viruses that will cause flu each year are identified in advance and vaccines are then produced to closely match them.
As with most seasonal flu vaccines, this year’s vaccine will protect against three types of flu virus.
What harm can seasonal Flu do?
People sometimes think a bad cold is flu, but having flu can be much worse than a cold and you may need to stay in bed for a few days if you have flu.
Some people are more susceptible to the effects of seasonal flu. For them it can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse. In the worst cases, seasonal flu can result in a stay in hospital, or even death.
Do you need the Flu Vaccination?
Even if you feel healthy, you should definitely consider having the free seasonal flu vaccination if you have:
- a heart problem
- a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis or emphysema
- a kidney disease
- lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
- a liver disease
- had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
- a neurological condition, for example multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
- a problem with your spleen, for example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed.
You should also have the seasonal flu vaccination if you are:
- aged 65 years or over
- living in a residential or nursing home
- the main carer of an older or disabled person
- a frontline health or social care worker, or
- pregnant (see the next section).
For more information see SEASONAL FLU VACCINATION:Who should have it and Why