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Find out more about the vaccinations you can have at your pharmacy

Many pharmacies offer a variety of vaccinations, from flu jabs each winter to travel vaccines. And, of course, many pharmacies have been involved in the Covid vaccination programme. Find out more about the vaccinations you can have at your pharmacy:

Flu

The flu vaccine is offered each winter on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications. The flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although you might still get flu. Being vaccinated will also stop you spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems. It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work. 

Community pharmacies across the United Kingdom provide flu vaccinations. The accessibility of pharmacies, their extended opening hours and the option to walk in without an appointment have proved popular with patients seeking vaccinations. 

In 2021/22, a record breaking five million jabs were delivered by community pharmacies. Eligibility for free flu vaccinations differs depending on which part of the UK you live in. 

Pharmacies are required to send notification of the vaccination to the patient’s GP practice on the same day the vaccine is administered or the next working day. Pharmacy has a track record of reaching parts of the population that might otherwise be left unprotected and many pharmacies work in the heart of the country’s most diverse communities.

Whether or not you’ve had Covid, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine and it will be effective at helping to prevent flu. If you get flu and Covid at the same time, you are more likely to be seriously ill.

The flu vaccine is offered each winter on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications

Pregnancy

The flu vaccine is recommended if you’re pregnant to help protect you and your baby. The flu vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy.

Flu vaccine and allergy

Some flu vaccines are made using eggs, so anyone with an egg allergy may be a risk of an allergic reaction. You can ask your pharmacist for a low-egg or egg-free vaccine. If you have a high temperature, wait until you’re better before having the flu vaccine.

Flu vaccine ingredients 

Those eligible for the flu vaccine on the NHS will be offered the one that’s most effective for them. This depends on age: 

Aged 18 to 64 – different types, including low-egg and egg-free 

Aged 65 and over – the most common vaccine contains an extra ingredient to help the immune system make a stronger response to the vaccine. Talk to your pharmacist for more information about these vaccines.

Covid

More than 20 million Covid jabs have been delivered at 1,500 pharmacy sites in England, most of them independents. Pharmacies have made an outstanding contribution to the vaccination programme and are proud to have been part of this remarkable NHS effort. Ask your pharmacist about having a Covid vaccine or booster. 

Travel jabs

People who are planning to travel overseas may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world.

Vaccinations are available against infections such as yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A.

The NHS routine vaccination schedule protects against a number of diseases, but does not cover all of the infectious diseases that are found abroad.

Be aware that some vaccines will need to be given well in advance of your holiday to allow your body to develop immunity, and some vaccines require a number of doses spread over several weeks or months.

Also consider the type of trip you are taking. Speak to your pharmacist about the destination you are heading to and if it may be high-risk for certain diseases. 

You also need to think about your own medical history. Having a pre-existing health problem may make you more at risk of infection or complications from a travel-related illness.

In addition some countries require proof of vaccination (for example, for polio or yellow fever vaccination), which must be documented on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) before you enter or when you leave that country.

Saudi Arabia, for example, requires proof of vaccination against certain types of meningitis for visitors arriving for pilgrimages.

Even if an ICVP is not required, it’s still a good idea to take a record of the vaccinations you have had with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll have to pay for travel vaccinations against:

hepatitis B

Japanese encephalitis

meningitis vaccines

rabies

tick-borne encephalitis

tuberculosis (TB)

yellow fever

Yellow fever vaccines are only available from designated centres.

The cost of travel vaccines that are not available on the NHS will vary, depending on the vaccine and number of doses you need.

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