The pneumococcal vaccine is a single vaccine offered to those aged 65 or over, or to those who have a long term health condition. The pneumococcal vaccine helps protect you from serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. These infections can lead to pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. In some cases, pneumococcal infections can be fatal or leave lasting brain damage.
The pneumococcal vaccine provides lifetime cover, unless if you have an underlying health condition, in which case you may be required to have one every 5 years. It is an inactive vaccine, therefore it cannot cause the disease it protects against.
For more information about the vaccine, speak to your GP or visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pneumococcal-vaccination/
People aged between 70-80 years are offered a vaccine to protect them from developing Shingles. Shingles is an infection of a nerve and the surrounding skin, it caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Around a quarter of people who have had chickenpox will go on to develop Shingles. People tend to develop Shingles more as they get older and becomes more severe as people get older.
Symptoms of shingles include pain, followed by a rash which looks similar to chickenpox. The rash turns into blisters, which go onto form scabs. The pain can range from mild to severe.
If you would like to find out more about the Shingles vaccine or the illness, speak to your GP or visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/shingles-vaccination/
To find out more about other vaccination programmes for older people, speak to your GP or visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/?tabname=adults
Flu Vaccination for Adults
Flu vaccination is available every autumn on the NHS to help protect adults at risk of flu and its complications. Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week. However, in certain people flu can be more severe and be more likely to develop serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, so it is recommended that they are vaccinated every year. These groups include:
- anyone aged 65 and over
- adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
- adults with weakened immune systems
The flu vaccine is proven to be the best protection we have against the influenza virus. Studies have shown that the vaccine will help prevent you from getting the flu, however, it cannot guarantee that you will be flu-free over the winter. If you do get the flu after being vaccinated, it is likely to be milder and not last as long as it would have done had you not been vaccinated. There is also evidence to suggest that the flu vaccine can reduce your risk of having a stroke. The strains of the influenza virus change frequently, so the flu vaccine is updated every year to ensure protection against the most recent influenza strain.
You can have your NHS flu vaccine at your GP surgery or a local pharmacy offering the service. Please see the video below to find out why you shouldn't put off getting the flu vaccine, especially if you have a long term health condition:
For more information on the flu vaccination programme and any potential side effects, speak to your GP, pharmacist or visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
Find out more about the flu vaccine here.
For more information on Screening & Immunisations click here.