Published 30th October 2019
If you’re a carer, you are entitled to the flu jab
As a care worker, employed by the NHS, independent organisation or for someone else, it can be easy to overlook your own health. Flu can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a couple of weeks, making it impossible for you to look after the person you care for. This is why the NHS offers a free flu vaccination for you if you are in receipt of a carer’s allowance. This vaccination is also offered to those who look after someone who is elderly, disabled, or somebody who lives with a serious long-term condition who couldn’t manage without help.
This is not just to ensure your own health as a carer, but also prevents you from passing the virus onto the vulnerable person you care for. Flu is a highly infectious disease which is easily spread from one person to another.
For those who already have a long-term health condition, catching flu can be even more dangerous as their body will struggle to fight off the illness and they are more at risk of complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Getting flu when you already have a long-term condition can lead to serious complications, and it can even prove fatal.
It is wise to get vaccinated early in the season for maximum protection. This vaccine takes 10 to 14 days to work, so getting it in September, October or November will help make sure you’re protected during ‘peak flu’ season in December and January. It is important to have the vaccination every year because the virus can change, and the previous year’s vaccine may not offer you the right protection against the virus in circulation this year.
Please take the time to look after yourself and have the flu jab if you are a carer. It’s free because you need it.
To get the vaccine please visit your local GP surgery or pharmacy and simply show your ID badge or payslip.