Information & Advice
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If you want help protecting yourself against flu this winter, our Winter Flu Jab Service is here to help. If you are 16 or over, you can book an appointment for a flu vaccination.
The benefits of having a flu vaccination are:
Even if you had a flu vaccination last year, you may consider having it again this year to protect yourself against the viruses most likely to be responsible for causing most cases of flu this winter, including the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.
The service costs £12.99 but currently includes the following, at no extra cost, when you pay for it:
The Winter Flu Jab Service is free if your company has provided you with a prepaid Corporate Flu Voucher (this does not include the two additional items mentioned above).
Certain groups of people can also get a free NHS vaccination. See the FAQ section for more details on eligibility.
*Subject to availability
The Winter Flu Jab Service is available in over 900 Boots pharmacies across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Guernsey, many of which are open seven days a week.
Many people should only be a 20 minute drive from a Boots pharmacy offering the service.
You can find your nearest store offering the Winter Flu Jab Service with our handy store locator here.
Your pharmacist will go through a questionnaire with you to see if the vaccination is suitable for you. You can pick up a copy in store or download the questionnaire online, print it out and complete it at home to save time when you get to the store.
You may be entitled to a free NHS vaccination from your doctor if you are:
If you have a serious medical condition such as:
If you are involved in caring for someone whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill. This includes:
*This varies depending on your locality. Free entitlement may be different in the Channel Islands.
The Boots Winter Flu Jab Service is not suitable for people under 16 years old. You may not be able to have a flu vaccination if:
You can receive Boots Advantage card points if you purchase the flu vaccination at £12.99. Unfortunately, if you receive a vaccination through the employer pre-paid scheme you will not receive any Boots Advantage Card points.
The service helps protect against the viruses most likely to be responsible for causing most cases of flu this winter including the H1N1 virus (swine flu).
Most of the side effects are not serious and should disappear on their own in a day or two.
The most common* side effects include:
*Common is defined as greater than or equal to 1 in 100 and less than 1 in 10.
Rare reactions include:
You should get medical advice straight away if you experience any of these reactions.
No, you will not contract flu from the vaccination.
Being vaccinated is likely to provide effective protection against the virus responsible for causing most cases of flu. However there is still a small chance that you will catch seasonal flu. After the vaccination, it takes between 14-21 days for it to become fully effective against these viruses, so it is sensible to organise your vaccination as early as possible.
We recommend that you tell your doctor you have been vaccinated so that your medical records can be updated.
During the production process, the vaccine is cultured in fertilised hen's eggs. Some vegetarians may be opposed to this. If you have concerns about this for religious reasons please seek the appropriate religious advice for guidance
Allergic reactions tend to be rare. Our pharmacists are fully trained to deal with them
Flu is caused by a number of different strains of influenza viruses, which are passed around by coughing and sneezing or touching infected surfaces or people. This may then enter your body through areas like the mouth, nose or eyes.
Hand washing is the best protection against flu. Regularly washing your hands with hot water and soap will help to get rid of potentially harmful germs that lead to flu.
Although everyone can experience different symptoms of flu, the most common ones are:
The main symptoms of flu normally peak after two or three days and within five to eight days you should feel a lot better. Sometimes symptoms like catarrh may last a little longer. The symptoms and the length of time they last will vary from person to person. They tend to be more severe in the very young and the elderly and other vulnerable groups who should take individual advice if they develop flu.
Swine flu is caused by a particular strain of influenza, a virus which is called influenza A (H1N1v).
It's often difficult to know whether you have flu or a cold but here are some tips for understanding the differences:
Cold? Flu? Over-the-counter medications and chicken soup help all, don't they? Not so fast.
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