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FAQs about the flu vaccine

Why should Health and social care workers be vaccinated against flu? 

  • Having the flu vaccine protects you, your family and the people you care for from flu. On average over 11,000 people die each year from flu. Some years it’s much more and many more are hospitalised each year. 
  • Vaccination means less staff sickness from flu, helping the NHS and social care to keep running effectively during a flu outbreak when services are particularly busy. 
  • You can give flu to your family and those you care for even if you don’t have any symptoms. Staff who aren’t vaccinated may unknowingly pass on flu to those who are at increased risk from the virus. 
  • Those you support feel safer and are more likely to get vaccinated when they know the people who care for them are vaccinated. 

How effective is the flu vaccine? 

The flu vaccine will help prevent you getting the flu and is your best protection against the virus. It will not stop all flu viruses but if you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been. 

How long does the flu vaccine take to become effective? 

It takes between 10 and 14 days for your immune system to respond fully after you’ve had the flu jab. 

Can the flu vaccine cause flu? 

No. The injectable vaccine does not contain any live viruses, so it cannot cause flu. You may get a slight temperature, and your arm may feel a bit sore where you had the injection. Other reactions are rare. 

I had the flu vaccination last year. Do I need to have it again? 

Yes. The viruses that cause flu can change every year, which means the flu (and the vaccine) this year may be different from last year. 

Why is it particularly important to get the flu vaccine this year?

With COVID-19 in circulation it’s especially important to get the flu vaccine this year. The flu jab won’t protect you against coronavirus, but it will help stop you spreading flu to the people you support, many of whom are vulnerable to both. There is an increased health risk if you are ill with both viruses simultaneously, so it is even more important to get the free flu jab as soon as you can.

Page last updated on April 23rd, 2021 at 3:07pm

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