Flu Jabs and Vaccinations

Flu is a contagious virus that can cause mild illness, However, flu in vulnerable groups including older people, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions can cause serious illness or even death.

At Crawley Chemists we offer Flu Jabs and Vaccinations on a walk-in basis or if you prefer, you can make an appointment by calling 01293 522160. Please call first to check availability.

Which symptoms does the flu cause?

The flu can cause a range of symptoms, some mild others severe, they usually improve within a week.

Symptoms of the flu include:

Muscle aches
Sore throat
Nasal congestion
Stomach pain and digestive problems such as diarrhea
Difficulty sleeping
Loss of appetite

How long do symptoms normally last?

Although the symptoms tend to improve significantly within seven days, you may find that you feel tired for a while after an episode of the flu. If you’re worried your symptoms are severe or not improving, seek medical advice.

Is it flu symptoms or a cold?

The flu is often confused with the common cold, which can cause very similar symptoms. When you have a cold, your symptoms tend to be milder and they usually come on gradually. See the guide below on how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu.

How can I get the flu jab?

We offer flu vaccinations in our Pharmacy located in Crawley Town Center:

Crawley Chemists Ltd
1st Floor Cross Keys House
14 Haslett Avenue
West Sussex
RH10 1HS

You can get the flu jab by contacting our Travel Vacciantion Clinic or Pharmacy. We offer walk-in or appointments, call us on 01293 522160 to confirm availability.

Is the flu jab free?

The flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications. At Crawley Travel Clinic we offer free flu jabs funded by the NHS within our Pharmacy. Please call our Pharmacy team on 01293 522160 to see if you are qualify.

You may be eligible if any of the following apply to you:

You’re under 9 or over 65
You’re pregnant
You have heart or lung problems, including asthma
You’re diabetic
You have a chronic kidney or liver condition
You have a long term neurological problem, including if you had a stroke
You have another illness
You have a BMI (body mass index) over 40
You are immunosuppressed or looking after someone who has immunosuppression

Why do I need the flu jab?

The flu vaccination helps reduce the risk of getting the flu or help reduce the time it takes you to recover from the flu. Although the flu jab does not prevent 100% of all flu cases, people who have been vaccinated and who catch a strain of the flu which they have been vaccinated against tend to have less severe symptoms which usually improve within a shorter period of time.

Although getting the flu can be a common viral infection, in some people getting the flu can cause serious complications, for example, in children, the elderly, those with a weak immune system and pregnant women. For these groups, the flu jab could help offer protection not only from the flu but help to reduce the risk of more serious illnesses and complications of flu.

What happens when you do get the flu?

Flu is a common viral infection which spreads by little droplets, usually by coughs and sneezes. It is particularly common during the winter months and causes unpleasant symptoms, like fever/chills, tiredness and muscle aches which can last for days. Although the symptoms tend to clear within a week in people who are otherwise healthy, it can cause serious complications in pregnant women, elderly patients, young children and people with an impaired immune system.

What happens if I get the flu jab?

You won’t get the flu itself, but you can get some of the symptoms – the flu jab is not a live vaccine, which means you cannot get the flu from the flu jab. However, the flu jab may cause flu-like symptoms as a side effect. The side effects of the flu jab tend to be mild and they usually pass within days. If you get an injection, the injection site may be red and sore for a few days after you have received your vaccine. Your Pharmacist will also give more information about potential side effects.

Some people can have an allergic reaction, but this is rare – a small number of people can have an allergic reaction to the vaccine (anaphylaxis). The medical staff giving you your vaccine will be trained to respond to this situation in the unlikely event it happens to you. If you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine before you should avoid another vaccination. The vaccine we use is safe for those with egg allergy except if this is very severe, such as an anaphylactic reaction that needed intensive care – talk to our pharmacist for more information.

When will it start working?

It can take up to 14 days for your immunity to develop after getting the flu jab. This is why it’s always best to get vaccinated early in the season to minimise your chance of catching it before you develop immunity.

How often do you need to get the flu jab?

You need to get vaccinated every year in order to stay protected – the flu virus is constantly changing and the vaccine is formulated every year to remain effective against the most common strands of the flu.

When should I start thinking about getting the jab?

The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to end of November, but don’t worry if you’ve missed it, you can have the vaccine later in winter. Ask your GP or pharmacist.

Should I get the jab if I’ve already had the flu this year?

Yes. There is more than 1 strain of flu virus in circulation every year and can still get reduce your chance of getting other strains even if you’ve already gotten over 1 infection.

More information is available from the NHS flu website