Annual Flu Vaccinations Coming Soon

The flu vaccination will be available shortly at VSM Pharmacy. If you don't fit the criteria for a free shot then you can pay £18.95 and have the vaccine privately.

Here at VSM Pharmacy, we participate in the annual flu vaccination service. This year though there has been a change in policy by the government.
People between 50 and 64 who are not a clinical risk are not included in the free flu vaccination service for the coming season. That means the vaccination is available to people who are:

• 65 and over
• Pregnant
• Already have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease or asthma
• Children aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2023
• People in long-stay residential care homes
• Carers of an older or disabled person
• Frontline health and social care staff

A flu vaccination offers protection to people who may become seriously ill if they catch the flu virus and it also reduces the risk of flu spreading.

What’s the difference between flu and the common cold?


If you have caught flu, you are likely to have a high temperature (above 100.4F), aches, and pains all over your body, a headache, and a sore throat. You will feel lethargic, and you may also lose your appetite. You may feel like this for around a week although you should begin to recover after 3 days or so.

People who already have a health condition should have a flu jab because having flu when your immune system is already weak can cause complications such as ear infections, sinus problems pneumonia or bronchitis. It can also worsen a chronic health condition like diabetes or heart disease.
The flu virus is spread by people coughing and sneezing and it is most common during autumn and winter.
The common cold

The common cold is also a viral infection, but a milder one. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing a sore throat and a temperature. A cold can be treated with over-the-counter medication, plenty of rest and drinking liquids to avoid dehydration. It does not cause complications with other health conditions.
The cold virus is infectious though and you can spread it to other people until your cold has disappeared completely, which is usually between one and two weeks.

How do you treat the flu?

If you have flu and you are over 65, pregnant or you have another health condition then you should see your doctor to make sure that the flu virus does not cause other complications.
Otherwise, it is recommended that you stay at home until you feel better and treat your aches and pains with an over-the-counter flu remedy that normally contains ibuprofen or paracetamol.

How do I avoid spreading a cold or flu?

The main way to prevent the spread of the virus is to wash your hands regularly using soap and warm water. Use tissues when you cough or sneeze and make sure you dispose of them in a bin as soon as you can.

When did the flu vaccination programme begin?

The first flu vaccination was given to members of the army and by 1945 it was offered to British citizens. The vaccine has shown to be a highly effective method of reducing the spread of flu and protecting vulnerable people.

How do I get a flu vaccination?

If you don’t meet the criteria for a free vaccination, you can still have one by paying a fee. The cost currently with us at VSM Pharmacy is £18.95 which is cheaper than many other pharmacies, including Boots.
All you need to do is phone or pop in to make an appointment. Our campaign this year starts on the 2 October. You can also book online using the form here. In some cases we will accept walk-in requests as long as you are prepared to wait until we can see you.

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