Here’s a timely reminder as to why elderly people need to get a flu jab?
Flu is dangerous: We assume that getting flu is just like getting a bad cold, but it’s actually a much tougher proposition, with high fevers, chills, headaches and muscle pain and it often confines people to bed for several days. For the elderly, flu can be fatal.
Flu is a virus: therefore it cannot be treated with antibiotics, as these are only useful against bacterial infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These may develop as a consequence of flu and antibiotics would be used to treat these medical conditions, but the flu itself is not treatable.
A flu jab is not dangerous: having a flu jab will not give you flu. The vaccine contains inactivated flu viruses, so it cannot cause flu. At worst, you will have a sore arm for a few days. The vaccine works to stimulate your immune system to create antibodies to combat flu.
You need an annual flu jab: Remember, you need to have a flu injection annually, as the viruses are not the same every year and each year’s jab will be formulated to combat current viruses. If you’ve already had flu this winter, it’s still very important to get a flu jab, as there are various strains you can catch.
How to get a flu jab: The injection is available from the NHS free for all people over 65 and for other groups deemed to be at risk. For more information on getting a flu jab for someone over 65, contact your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.