Break free from flu with the winter jab

Our Flu Vaccination Service is administered by a specially trained pharmacist in Cardiff and Pontypool. If you’re interested in receiving the service, your pharmacist will be able to answer any questions you might and they’ll ensure that it’s suitable for you before giving the vaccination.

The influenza virus is highly contagious. It can be passed from person to person either through airborne transmission (for example when someone coughs or sneezes) or by touching someone or something, which is contaminated with the virus. Signs and symptoms of flu include general aches and pains, shivering, cough, sneezing raised temperature and fatigue/weakness.

By receiving a flu vaccination you can:

  • Avoid the symptoms of flu
  • Stop yourself from passing flu on to others
  • Prevent any missed days from work due to the symptoms of flu

Protecting yourself from Flu

Flu can affect even the fittest of us, especially during the winter months when it’s easily spread through coughs, sneezes and by touching contaminated services. Your local Health Plus Pharmacist will be able to vaccinate you against flu. Some people can receive a flu vaccine free of charge from the NHS, contact your Health Plus Pharmacy to find out if you are eligible. Even if you are not eligible for a free vaccine, you may be able to pay privately to receive a vaccination.

What is Flu?

Flu is an acute respiratory viral infection caused by an influenza virus. It can affect anyone in any age group usually in the winter months from October to April (in the UK). For many people, flu is unpleasant but not life threatening. However, for some people who are most at risk, complications can result in more serious illness, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, or result in prolonged time off work or school.

About the Flu Vaccine

Price: £15 per dose or free of charge if you meet the NHS criteria

When to get vaccinated: Late September or early October onwards

How it is given: All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm

Side effects: Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as: slightly raised temperature and muscle aches.

Children: 16 over

Location of Clinics: Cardiff & Pontypool

When should I get my flu vaccination?

In the UK the flu vaccine is available each year from late September or early October onwards. It is recommended to get the flu vaccine in the autumn, before outbreaks of flu have started. It takes up to two weeks after vaccination for you to be protected against flu.

How often should a person get a flu vaccination?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a yearly flu shot is recommended for everyone. Therefore, most individuals should get a flu shot once a year.

Researchers adjust each yearly flu vaccine, depending on what strain of flu they predict will be common during that season. As a result, the flu shot is different each year.

How effective is the flu vaccination?

  • The flu vaccine gives the best protection against flu.
  • Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although there's still a chance you might get flu.
  • If you do get flu after vaccination, it's likely to be milder and not last as long.
  • Having the flu vaccine will also stop you spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems from flu.
  • It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work.

Are there side effects, and how long do they last?

Flu vaccines are very safe. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.

Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:

  • 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.

Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:

  • 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.

How do I meet the NHS criteria to get the flu vaccination for free?

The flu vaccine is given free to people who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who'll be 50 by 31 March 2021)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • frontline health or social care workers