Have you had your Flu Jab?

Stockport’s NHS is struggling to cope with the surge in influenza (flu) especially affecting children aged under 5. Emergency Hospital beds in Greater Manchester are full. The best way to protect your child (and everyone else in your household) is to get your child vaccinated before Christmas. Please call into the practice as your passing,

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The flu vaccination: winter 2022 to 2023

This guide explains how you can help protect yourself and your children against flu this coming winter, and why it’s very important that people who are at increased risk from flu have their free vaccination every year.

Flu isn’t just a heavy cold

Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it’s sometimes called seasonal flu. It’s a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly.

Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.

The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within 2 to 7 days but, for some, the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.

The causes of flu

Flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the windpipe and lungs. And because it’s caused by viruses and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it. However, if there are complications from getting flu, antibiotics may be needed.

How you catch flu

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.

You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you should wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.

But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.

Who can have the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • frontline health or social care workers

If you are in these group’s we will soon be contacting you by text (or by letter if we don’t have a mobile number for you) to invite you to book a timed slot for your vaccination.

If we contact you, please book your appointment for vaccination when we start to receive our supply we are expecting at the end of September. We will have early morning, daytime, late evening and weekend slots available.

Am I at increased risk from the effects of flu?

The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:

Who should consider having a flu vaccination?

All those who have any condition listed above, or who are:

  • are 50 and over (including those who’ll be 50 by 31 March 2022)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • frontline health or social care workers


To find out who is included check NHS UK Flu Vaccine website.

Where to get the flu vaccine

All community services are working together this year to ensure we vaccinate as many eligible people as possible, so you can also access the vaccination at the services below:

  • your GP surgery
  • a pharmacy offering the service
  • your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
  • a hospital appointment

If you have your flu vaccine at a pharmacy or hospital, you do not have to inform a GP.

Preparation before your flu appointment

To assist your clinician with the administration of the vaccination we will require you to prepare as follows:

  • Please notify the reception staff if you have any mobility issues at the point of booking the appointment.
  • Please arrive at your allocated appointment time and not early or late, as we are trying to ensure social distancing is maintained.
  • Please WEAR A FACE COVERING, as the appointment is no longer than a few minutes, there will be no exemptions except for people who need to lip read.
  • Please dress in something that it easy to roll your sleeve up to above your shoulder, without too many layers.
  • When in the waiting area please remove any coats or jumpers so that your preferred arm is accessible by the clinician.
  • Please do not expect the clinician to deal with any other medical need that you may have as there will not be sufficient time and a separate appointment will be required.
  • Be patient.

Nasal Spray Influenza ( Flu) Vaccination

Eligible Groups for vaccination at the GP surgery:

  • children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 – born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
  • children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

Vaccinations will be conducted by the school for the following:

  • all primary school children (reception to year 6)
  • all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
  • children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition that makes them at higher risk from flu, they’ll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.

This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.

The nasal spray vaccine offers the best protection for children aged 2 to 17 years. They will be offered the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.

We at Stockport Medical Group are doing everything we can to help protect us all, and the NHS, this winter. Usually as autumn approaches, viruses start to spread, causing increasing illness. The addition of Covid-19 may cause great pressure on the NHS this winter.

We know children are both “silent super spreaders” of flu to other people, and at high risk & very vulnerable themselves. Flu can be severe and sadly sometimes life-threatening.

We are strongly encouraging parents of all children aged two or three years old to get them protected by getting them vaccinated against flu. This will also help protect your family and the NHS.

The vaccine is given by spraying a very small amount of fluid into each nostril – it’s easily administered and painless. There is no injection involved.

It is a very safe vaccine – the most common side effect, in about one in ten children, is a runny nose coming on a day or two after vaccination and lasting for a couple of days. 

The vaccine doesn’t stop cold viruses, but is very effective at preventing influenza virus infections.

Vaccine Patient Information Leaflet