When winter comes calling, there are a few inevitabilities – dark nights, trick-or-treaters, dazzling firework displays, Christmas shopping and, of course, the dreaded flu.
Despite being known as a relatively mundane illness, there were more than 2,000 individual cases of Brits needing life-or-death treatment in hospital caused by the flu last winter – and it will come as no surprise that it is those who do not receive their annual vaccination that suffer most.
Tesco Pharmacy is just one location that qualifying people can book in to have their yearly top-up jab for free, provided by the NHS – you can either make an appointment to have one, or fill out a short form in-store and receive one straight away. The process takes just 10 minutes and, in extreme cases, could save your life this winter.
Who is entitled to a flu jab?
Flu jabs usually cost £10, but you may find that you qualify for a free flu jab at Tesco. To qualify for a free flu vaccination, you must be:
- Aged between 2 and 17
- Aged 65+ (or turning 65 before March 31st, 2020)
- Aged 18-65 with at least one of the following medical conditions:
- A chronic respiratory disease (eg. sever asthmas or bronchitis)
- A chronic heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease (stage three, four or five)
- Chronic liver disease
- A chronic neurological disease (eg. Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease)
- A weakened immune system due to medical treatment (eg. for HIV/AIDS or cancer)
- Morbid obesity
- Asplenia/splenic dysfunction
- Pregnant (over 18)
- Living in a long-stay care home
- A social/hospice worker
- Living with immunocompromised individuals aged 18+ (those who have an impaired immune system)
Children over the age of 2 whom are eligible for the yearly flu vaccination will usually receive it via a nasal spray rather than an injection.
Did you know?
If you, or somebody you know, has an existing clinical relationship with their local pharmacy (has their medicine home-delivered) then they should be able to request that the vaccination is undertaken at home.
When should you get a flu jab? Do you need the flu shot every year?
To provide maximum protection, the flu vaccination should be administered every winter – so if you had one back in 2014 but you haven’t been since, it won’t be any use to you in 2019!
Experts recommend that anybody over the age of 18 should be given the flu vaccine before the extreme cold conditions kick in, meaning you should aim to be vaccinated before the end of October – but if you haven’t been vaccinated by this point, it’s never too late.
Is the flu vaccine safe?
Yes – there has been a lot of talks around vaccinations and their side effects in recent years, but the flu shot is considered to be completely safe.
The only risk that comes with having a flu vaccine is if you have a severe allergy to eggs, as some flu vaccinations are grown inside fertilised chicken eggs – as a result, pharmacists are unable to confirm whether or not there is a small amount of egg protein within the shot.
If you do suffer from an allergy to eggs then there are egg-free vaccinations which are grown within animal cells instead.
If you have children who have previously required intensive care due to an egg allergy, ensure that you seek expert advice from your local GP on what steps to take when having them vaccinated.
Tesco pharmacy opening times
The Tesco flu jab is available at most in-store pharmacies, but be sure to check the opening times before making the trip – your best bet is to ring ahead and make an appointment.
Most superstore pharmacies are open between 8am and 8pm Monday-Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday, but again, this can vary depending on your local store.
Stay safe this winter with Bobatoo
From healthcare advice to the latest ways to keep your home warm in the colder months, Bobatoo has a range of helpful articles which are bound to help keep you warm this winter – they may even save you some money!
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