Protect yourself by getting the flu jab
At LloydsPharmacy, we’re here to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible, with expert advice on how to protect yourself from seasonal illnesses and ailments, including flu. Even at our fittest and healthiest, we can still catch the flu. For those over 65, people with a medical condition or pregnant women, catching flu can be more serious and that’s why they are offered a FREE NHS funded flu vaccine.
Flu vaccinations will be available at LloydsPharmacy later in 2020
Our flu vaccination service is currently unavailable, you'll be able to have a flu vaccine later in the year.
Although you don’t need to book an appointment, we advise that you ring ahead at your local LloydsPharmacy to check availability. Our Pharmacists in store will be happy to help find a day and time to suit you. Or if you'd prefer you can complete your flu vaccination prescription order online ahead of your visit with our Online Doctor service.
Am I eligible for a free flu jab?
If you are affected by any of the following then you’re likely to be eligible for a free flu vaccination funded by the NHS (England and Wales only), which we can provide in selected pharmacies. You don’t need a GP's referral or GP's permission to have a free flu jab in pharmacy. Please speak to your Pharmacist for details about your eligibility.
You're eligible for a FREE NHS flu vaccine if:
- You're over 65
- You're pregnant
- You have asthma or lung disease
- You have chronic heart disease
- You're diabetic
- You have a chronic kidney condition
- You have a chronic liver condition
- You've had a stroke
- You have an illness or are taking medicines that lower your natural defences
How much does the flu jab cost?
If you are not eligible, you can still protect yourself with a private flu vaccine, these will be available later in the year. Simply ask our healthcare team what’s right for you.
Did you know that we can protect your workforce from flu? With our corporate flu service you can keep your workforce fit and healthy.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if I can have the flu jab?
You can use the NHS service if you are 18 or over and are eligible for a free flu jab. For the private service you need to be aged 16 or over (except in Northern Ireland where you need to be 18 or over). However, there are some exceptions (i.e. if you have a viral infection), but the pharmacist will determine your suitability during your consultation.
Do I need to book an appointment?
It isn't necessary to book a flu jab you can just call into your local vaccinating pharmacy, once our flu vaccination service is available. We do advise that you ring ahead to check availability, where our Pharmacists in store will be happy to help find a time to suit you.
How does the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor service work?
LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor works with three simple steps. Complete a short medical form that corresponds with the treatment you require. An online assessment will then be carried out by one of our qualified doctors. Once approved, your order is processed and treatment made available.
Can children have the flu vaccine?
Unfortunately, we cannot vaccinate children under the age of 16, and in some areas, we cannot vaccinate those under 18. The NHS flu service is offered to those 18 years and over and who are eligible. The private service is suitable for those aged 16 and over, except in Northern Ireland where you need to be 18 or over. Please contact your local LloydsPharmacy to check if you are eligible for this service, as age restrictions may apply.
When is the best time to get vaccinated?
The best time to get vaccinated is from the beginning of October to early November. However, your participating local LloydsPharmacy offers vaccinations right through to March, so you can come in at time over the winter season.
Why are there two different flu vaccinations for 2020?
This year the NHS has recommended the use of 2 different vaccinations; Fluad (adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine) for those aged 65 and over and a Quadrivalent vaccine for those aged 18 to 65. Both will help protect from flu, however research shows Fluad is a more appropriate vaccine in those aged 65 and over.
How quickly does the flu jab take effect?
It can take between 2 to 3 weeks to become fully effective and be immunised from flu.
Should I get vaccinated against winter flu every year?
Yes, the virus that causes flu changes every year, so you should get vaccinated this year even if you had the flu vaccination last year. The flu vaccination this year also covers you against the H1N1 swine flu virus.
I had the flu vaccination last year but still caught flu. Why?
The flu vaccination is the best protection against the most common strains of flu. However the vaccination is not protection against all the different viruses which can produce flu-like symptoms. Getting vaccinated significantly reduces your chances of getting flu. Also, as the flu vaccination takes up to two weeks to become fully effective, it is still possible to be affected by flu during this time.
Will the flu vaccination give me flu?
No, the flu vaccination only contains inactive particles of the flu viruses so it can't cause flu. If you get flu immediately after receiving the flu vaccination it is likely to be because the vaccination has not yet become fully effective. You should therefore have the flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccination?
Most people don't experience any adverse effects, however the most common side effects are general aches and pains, a rash at the injection site and feeling tired. These will usually go away within a day or two, but if symptoms do persist you'll need to see your GP. If your arm feels sore apply a cold flannel and take painkillers, if necessary. If you have a headache or slight fever, drink plenty of water and take painkillers, if necessary, such as paracetamol. Please ask your pharmacist for more advice. Other side effects are very rare and include nerve pain, inflammation of the nerves or blood vessels, fits, blood disorders and neurological disorders.
What is my risk of a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccination?
Serious side effects are extremely rare, however all LloydsPharmacy staff providing this service are fully trained in managing what is called 'anaphylaxis'. Anaphylaxis can occur when a patient has a severe allergic reaction to a vaccination they are given. Symptoms can include fainting, shortness of breath, falling blood pressure and swelling of the face and throat. Anaphylaxis is extremely rare and typically happens within ten minutes of a patient receiving the injection.
Should I take a break from working out after the flu vaccination?
Not particularly. It’s not like giving blood where there would be a risk of bleeding from the vein, as the flu vaccine is not given into a vein. Some people may experience a sore arm, so the advice is just to be sensible.
Should I get still get my flu jab if I’m feeling unwell?
If you are very unwell (for example with a fever or temperature above 38.5 C), the Pharmacist may postpone your flu vaccination until you have fully recovered.If you have a minor illness without a fever, such as a cold, you should not need to postpone your flu vaccine. It is also fine to have your flu jab if you are on antibiotics.
Do I need to inform my GP?
It's important that you inform your GP of your flu vaccination. Your pharmacist can tell you the name of the flu vaccination you receive.