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As summer comes to an end, it’s time to look ahead to autumn and winter. Whilst many of us look forward to the changing seasons and revel in the rich variety of colours in nature and the prospect of cosying indoors, there is one definite downside to this time of year and that is flu. Flu can leave you feeling aching, exhausted, and nauseous. In serious cases, it can lead to hospitalisation and even death. And that’s why so many people choose to protect themselves against it by getting vaccinated. This year, the flu vaccine at YourGP is changing. Read on to find out how and why…
Why do I need to have the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine reduces your chance of catching the flu and it also reduces the risk of severe complications and hospitalisation. Anyone can catch the flu, but there are several groups that are at higher risk of developing complications. They include children under the age of 5, adults aged 65 or older, and pregnant women. An annual flu vaccine is therefore recommended to provide the necessary protection.
What’s different about the flu vaccine this year?
Most inactivated flu vaccines are produced by growing flu viruses in eggs. However, the flu vaccine on offer at YourGP this year is a cell-based vaccine which uses animal cells as a host for the growing flu viruses instead of fertilized chicken eggs.
What’s the reason for the change?
Advances in medical science are being made all the time. Cell-based flu vaccines have the potential to offer better protection than traditional egg-based flu vaccines. Studies have shown cell-based vaccines are better at triggering the body’s immune response. This is because the viruses used to make cell-based vaccines are more like circulating ‘wild flu’ viruses, and the closer it resembles the real thing, the more effective it is.
Is cell-based vaccine technology new?
Cell-based technology is already being offered across Europe and the US for a variety of vaccines including polio, smallpox, hepatitis, rubella, and chickenpox. The NHS are also offering cell-based flu vaccines as their preferred option at the moment, so it is this type of technology that you’d likely receive if you were receiving a flu vaccine through the NHS.
How safe is the cell-based flu vaccine?
Rest assured the cell-based flu vaccine we are offering at YourGP is completely safe. It has undergone rigorous checks and studies have shown it offers effective protection against flu.
What are the side effects of the vaccine?
As with the traditional egg-based flu vaccine, those who receive the cell-based flu vaccine 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 long will this vaccine protect me for?
Once vaccinated, your body will start to develop an immune response over the course of about two weeks. The vaccine will then provide protection throughout the current flu season, which runs from autumn right through winter and into spring.
How can I book my flu vaccine?
Appointments for the flu vaccine will be available to book from Monday 10th October. To book yours, you can do so via our website (CLICK HERE TO BOOK), by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0131 225 5656.
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