Flu vaccination service
At Hey Pharmacist, we've got you covered this winter with both NHS and private flu vaccinations available at your nearest pharmacy. We're all about making it super easy for you to protect yourself and your loved ones. Just choose a service below, follow the simple steps, and book your flu vaccination online today. Stay healthy this season!
Book your flu vaccination today
NHS appointments available to book from 18th September
Private Flu Jab
Not eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination? No problem! A private flu vaccination may be available at your local pharmacy for anyone aged two years and over. Prices vary per pharmacy, so please contact the pharmacy you are booking with directly for more details.
What is flu?
The flu, or Influenza, is a viral infection that targets your respiratory system - the system responsible for helping you breathe, like your nose, throat, and lungs. This highly contagious virus loves to make its grand entrance during the cold winter months, especially in busy places such as schools and offices.
When it comes to symptoms, the flu likes to unleash coughs and sneezes, which can spread the virus through the air or by landing on surfaces. Even if you don't feel too sick, you can still pass on the virus by touching objects after touching your nose and mouth.
To steer clear of catching or spreading the flu, make sure to keep those hands sparkly clean and give others some space if you're experiencing any symptoms.
What are the symptoms of flu?
Symptoms of the flu can develop quite quickly and includes the following:
- Sore throat
- Dry or chesty cough
- Muscle aches
- Sudden fever – temperature of 38°C or above
- Feeling tired/exhausted or have difficulty sleeping
- Headache, diarrhoea or tummy pain
- Have a loss of appetite, feel sick
- Children can also get pain in the ears and will appear less active
Can I get my flu jab for free?
If you fall into any of the categories below, you may be eligible* for a FREE NHS flu jab:
- You’re over 65
- You're pregnant
- You have asthma or a lung condition
- You have chronic heart disease
- You have diabetes
- You have a chronic kidney or liver condition
- You've had a stroke
- You have an illness or are taking medicines that affect your immune system, e.g. chemotherapy
* Eligibility will be confirmed following consultation with pharmacist.
** Subject to availability
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get a flu vaccine?＋
The most accessible way to get your flu vaccine is by booking an appointment at your local pharmacy. You can do this through Hey Pharmacist. If vaccinations are not currently available but you want to plan ahead, you can join the waiting list. By joining the flu waiting list, you’ll be first in line to be notified when flu vaccines are available.
How long does the flu jab last?＋
After getting vaccinated against the flu, it can take 10 to 14 days for it to take effect. After this, you will be protected for the duration of the year.
Flu is a virus that, like other organisms, is always evolving. Therefore old vaccinations become outdated. This is why it is a good idea to stay one step ahead and get your jab before flu season. That way you’ll be prepared and protected when flu declares war, and less likely to either get the flu or experience severe symptoms.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?＋
There aren’t usually any severe side effects of the flu vaccine. Common side effects include a red and sore/aching arm and aching muscles, plus flu-like symptoms such as a headache, fever and nausea.
Allergic reactions to the flu are rare, but if it does happen, you’ll experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing and wheezing a few minutes after getting the jab. Serious allergic reactions like anaphylaxis are especially rare. You may be at risk of an allergic reaction if you have an egg allergy. Let your pharmacist know about this and they may offer an egg-free or low-egg vaccine.
How long after a flu jab can you get side effects?＋
Side effects vary from person to person, some people may have nothing other than a slight ache in their arm, whilst others may experience flu-like symptoms, but nothing major. The side effects after a flu jab don’t usually last any more than a couple of days.
What to do before getting a flu jab＋
The flu jab itself is an effective medicine that safely protects you against the virus. However, there are also some things you can do beforehand to ensure that it is as effective as possible. Similar to how water helps your white blood cells swoop in to attack the viruses, it also helps circulate the vaccination through your body to take effect. Drinking water both before and after the injection will help it reach the areas it’s needed the most.
Flu jab when pregnant?＋
One of the biggest debates out there is whether is safe or not for people who are pregnant to get a flu jab. Well, we can tell you that it absolutely is safe, in fact, it’s encouraged, for people who are pregnant to get their flu jab, to protect both them and their baby.
Scared of needles?
We totally get it - needles can be scary. But fear not, because there are ways to conquer this phobia and get that flu jab.
- Let your pharmacist know that you have a fear of needles. They’ll help to put you at ease and make you more comfortable.
- Don’t look at the needle or anything your pharmacist is doing. Close your eyes and picture anything to take your mind off what's going on.
- Find something in the room to count. Maybe the number of tiles on the floor or the pictures on the wall. It might sound silly, but it helps distract your mind from the whole needle situation.
- After you've faced your fears head-on and gotten that flu jab, treat yourself! You did it! Celebrate with a little something special, whether it's a sweet treat or a cosy movie night. You deserve it for conquering those needle jitters.