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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Prepare for winter with the flu vaccine

    Prepare for winter with the flu vaccine

    Posted on September 16th, 2023

    It’s fair to say that summer 2023 was a wash-out. And now that the temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter, it’s time to let go of any hopes of an Indian summer, because autumn has officially arrived. For many people, the best way to embrace the new season is to dig out the winter woollies, batch-cook some hearty soups, and plan some cosy nights in by the fire. However, there is another important way to prepare for the coming months, and that is by booking your flu vaccine. Read on as the medical professionals at YourGP answer your most common questions about this vital vaccination…

    What are the most common symptoms of the flu?

    While many people usually feel a few niggling symptoms of a cold before it properly hits, the onset of the flu is typically quite sudden. The most common flu symptoms include:

    • High temperature
    • Tiredness
    • Body aches
    • Dry cough
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Diarrhoea
    • Nausea

    What is the best way to treat the flu?

    Lots of rest and lots of fluids are key to overcoming the flu. With some paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease your symptoms, you should feel better in around seven days.

    How serious can the flu be?

    For some people, the flu virus poses a serious risk. It can make chronic medical problems worse and it can trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and lead to sepsis. Every year, the flu virus kills 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more. Those at a higher risk of developing complications include:

    • Children under the age of 5
    • Adults aged 65 or older
    • Pregnant women
    • People with pre-existing long term medical conditions e.g. COPD, asthma, heart and kidney problems
    • Those with lowered immunity due to disease or medication e.g. long term steroids and chemotherapy

    What is the best way to protect yourself from catching the flu?

    The best way to protect yourself from the flu virus is to get the flu vaccine. Crucially, it is essential that you get this every year. That’s because the flu virus continually mutates. Current vaccines provide protection against four strains of the flu virus that are expected to be the most common this season.

    How long does it take for the flu vaccine to work?

    The flu vaccination typically takes 2-4 weeks to be effective and will then provide protection throughout the current flu season. Flu season usually peaks between December and March, however it was markedly early last year, so it is wise to get vaccinated as soon as possible this autumn.

    Will I feel unwell after getting the flu vaccine?

    It is important to note that there is no live virus in the flu vaccine, so it can’t cause the flu itself. However, you may experience some cold and flu-like symptoms for up to 48 hours after being vaccinated. You may also experience some redness, mild swelling, and tenderness at the site of the injection.

    There is a very small risk of developing more severe reactions, including anaphylaxis – a life-threatening allergic reaction. This is why we always recommend you wait here at YourGP for 15 minutes after being vaccinated so that we can closely monitor you.

    How can I book my flu vaccine?

    Appointments for the flu vaccine will be available to book from October. Choose a date and time that suits you via our simple online booking system, or you can email reception@your.gp or call us on 0131 225 5656 and we’ll be happy to take care of everything for you.

    Just a massive thank you for being so willing to help us out. I was kept up to date in all email communication between the two clinics which I found very reassuring. I honestly can not emphasize enough how grateful we both are that the clinic was able to help us out with the Zita West fertility tests. We really did not know what we were going to do after the mix up with the blood collection dates due to the 4th of July in America and really thought we would have to give up on these tests so it means a massive amount to us that we have been able to proceed with them because of your willingness to help us out. Thank you again.

    D and A McG

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 | his.ihcregulation@nhs.scot

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.