Flu jab: Can you have the vaccine when you have a cold? Follow NHS advice

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Flu jab: Can you have the vaccine when you have a cold? Follow NHS advice


Flu jab is available from the NHS as well as certain supermarkets and pharmacies every year.

The vaccine helps protect people from symptoms of flu, which includes a dry, chesty cough, a headache and a sore throat.

Many of the symptoms of flu are similar to those of the common cold, which is also known as rhinovirus.

And because the vaccine can also cause side effects, can you have it when you have a cold?

Very few people are unable to have the flu vaccine, according to the NHS, but if you are ill with a fever, it’s best to delay your flu vaccination until you have recovered.

It further advises: “There is no need to play your flu vaccine if you have a minor illness with no fever such as a cold.”

One question people considering getting the jab may be worried about is whether or not the flu vaccine can make you ill.

The flu vaccine contains tiny doses of certain flu strains (which change each year) and cause antibodies in the body to develop.

The antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine, which helps your body protect against the full virus. But this doesn’t mean the vaccine gives you flu.

After having the flu jab you may experience some symptoms and side effects.

These can include a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards, and a sore arm where you had the injection

Other reactions are rare and flu vaccines have a good safety record.

For children, the nasal spray vaccine cannot cause flu because the viruses in it have been weakened to prevent this from happening.

There are five groups of ‘at risk’ people who are eligible for the NHS free-of-charge vaccine.

You are eligible for a free flu jab and advised to have the vaccine if you:

  • Are 65 years of age or over
  • Are pregnant
  • Have certain medical conditions
  • Are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • Receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible for the flu vaccine, but it is your employer’s responsibility to arrange and pay for the vaccine.

Flu jab is also free on the NHS for children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition, children aged 2 and 3 on August 31 2018, and children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Children aged between six months and two years are given an injected flu vaccine, whereas children aged between two and 17 are given the flu vaccine nasal spray.

Adults who aren’t eligible for a flu vaccine on the NHS can pay for it privately.

From pharmacies and supermarkets the jab tends to cost no more than £20.

For those unfortunate to get the virus, Dr Sarah Jarvis has a number of remedies



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