Frequently Asked Questions
This document is also available in large print and other formats and languages, upon request. Please call NHS Grampian Corporate Communications on (01224) 551116 or (01224) 552245.
Language Line is available at all vaccination appointments. This is a telephone-based interpretation service which gives staff access to expert interpreters, on the telephone, in 60-90 seconds, for over 170 different languages.

Also available:

  • Portable hearing loops
  • A quiet space/room
  • All sites are wheelchair accessible
  • All sites have access to language line
Who should be vaccinated?
Visit our eligible groups section to find out who should be vaccinated.
When am I at most risk of catching influenza?
Flu circulates every winter, generally peaking in December and January. It is impossible to predict how many cases of flu there will be each year, how ill people will be or when the number of cases will peak.
Does the vaccine protect against all strains of influenza?
No but every effort is made to match the flu vaccine to those strains expected to be circulating in the UK.
When will it start to be effective and how long will it work for?
The flu vaccine takes between 10 and 14 days to be fully effective. The vaccine should protect you for this flu season but, because the circulating flu viruses change, you should be vaccinated every year.
When should I get vaccinated?
It’s important to attend when you are invited.  The flu vaccination programme will deliver at pace between Sept-Dec 2021, however it runs until the end of March 2022.
I caught flu after I had the flu vaccine so I’m not getting it again?
It is impossible to catch flu from the flu vaccine. As it can take up to 14 days for the vaccine to become effective it is much more likely that you were incubating an infection around the same time.
What are the side effects of getting the flu vaccine?
Most people will have no side effects, but if you do these can include slight raised temperature, muscle aches or a sore arm where the needle went in. Tips to help include moving your arm regularly.
I have an egg allergy, should I still be vaccinated?
Unless you have an anaphylactic allergy to eggs or to a previous dose of flu vaccine you should be vaccinated. There are vaccines available that are egg free.
I’ve heard the flu vaccine is not particularly safe.
The flu vaccine is one of the safest in the world. It is safely administered to millions of people every year. The risk of having a severe reaction to the vaccine is less than one in a million.
I think I might be pregnant so I don’t think I should be vaccinated.
It is important that all pregnant women get vaccinated. Pregnant women are one of the groups of the population who can have quite serious complications if they catch flu. The vaccine is safe to give at all stages of pregnancy.
I am breastfeeding, can I still be vaccinated?
Yes. The vaccine poses no risk to you or your baby.
I am on antibiotics can I still be vaccinated?
Yes. Being on antibiotics is not a reason to withhold vaccination. However, if you are clinically unwell you should hold off being vaccinated until you feel better.
I have a latex allergy, can I still be vaccinated?
The Seqirus vaccines (Flucelvax Tetra QIVc and aTIV) all contain latex in the needle shield. Although the risk appears low, these vaccines should not be used in a patient with a history of anaphylaxis or severe reaction to latex. QIVc is currently being used in adults who have an underlying medical condition (licenced from 9 years up) and aTIV is currently being used in patients aged 65 years plus cohorts.

About this year’s flu vaccination programme

How long does the flu vaccination programme run for?
The flu vaccination programme runs from early September through to March next year.
Due to the increase in demand and increase in number of groups eligible for the free flu vaccination, appointments are being allocated in a phased approach over the coming months.
How will I be invited to my flu vaccination appointment?
Please visit our eligible groups page for all information on how to get your flu vaccination appointment.
What does NHS Scotland define as an eligible health condition?
Please visit NHS Inform for the latest guidance.
Why is my GP not delivering my vaccination?
In 2017, the Scottish Government and the Scottish General Practitioners Committee (SGPC) agreed vaccinations would move away from a model based on GP delivery to one based on NHS Board delivery through dedicated teams.

Making your flu appointment

I have not received my letter, but I always get my flu vaccination?
Visit our eligible groups page for information on how and when you will get your flu vaccination appointment.
Why is the order of flu vaccination different in Grampian?
In terms of flu vaccination this year there are two distinct groups that are being offered vaccination. The first, and most vulnerable, are those people who need a flu vaccination and a covid booster. The Covid booster needs to be given 6 months after their second dose was received. For this reason there are people who could receive their flu vaccination now but would have to come back for their covid vaccination quite soon after. Clearly it is more efficient for the NHS,  more convenient for individuals being vaccinated and reduces the number of times more vulnerable people are asked to attend vaccination centres or for our staff to enter their home / homely setting if we combine vaccination on the same date where appropriate.

 

That has meant that we have a short period of time when we have capacity to vaccinate but that people needing their covid booster are not at 6 months. We are using this space in the programme to bring forward those individuals who are only due a flu vaccination or whose covid booster remains a longer time away.

 

This is a pragmatic solution and whilst not ideal is one which permits us to make progress with ‘flu vaccination, rather than the delay the whole programme. We anticipate commencing booster and ‘flu jabs for the oldest people in our population in the week beginning 4 October. Letters offering appointments will come through the national booking system.

 

Flu is a serious illness and we encourage everyone invited to receive their jab to do so.

What should I do when I receive the letter and can't attend my appointment or my appointment is letter is late?
Please follow the contact details information in the letter.
Will the main NHS Grampian switchboard be able to direct my call to the booking number or make my flu vaccination appointment?
No. Please phone your local flu helpline:

  • Aberdeenshire: 0330 128 9919
  • Aberdeen City: 0800 030 4713
  • Moray: 0345 337 9899

Do not call the main NHS Grampian switchboard as they will not be able to make an appointment for you and you may also prevent other urgent calls being able to get through.

Should I contact my local GP practice for my appointment?
No. In Grampian you will no longer get your free vaccination from your local GP but will be invited to attend a local vaccination clinic.
Should I make an appointment to get my primary school age child vaccinated?
No, as in previous years, local health teams will visit primary schools to offer the vaccination to all primary school aged children.

Primary and Secondary School pupils who have missed their immunisation session in school and should be issued with a leaflet with missed vaccination information on it.

Sorry we missed you leaflet

Planning for your vaccination

I’ve got an appointment but it’s weeks away. Don’t I need this jab now?
The vaccination period runs up until the end of March. We have prioritised appointments by clinical need, based on national guidance. There is still time to ensure that those that are eligible are vaccinated before the flu circulation period.
What is a coadministration appointment?
This is an opportunity to get your flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster provided you are eligible to receive them at the same time.
I live in Braemar or Strathdon, how do I book my flu vaccination?
The service has not changed. You will still be contacted by your local practice.
Where will my appointment be?
The location will vary depending on your individual circumstances and location. Locations will normally be in a community based vaccination centre.
Can I just turn up at a flu vaccination clinic to get my flu jab?
All flu vaccination is by appointment only so please don’t turn up unless you have an appointment.
Accessibility at my vaccination appointment
Language Line is available at all vaccination appointments. This is a telephone-based interpretation service which gives staff access to expert interpreters, on the telephone, in 60-90 seconds, for over 170 different languages.

Also available:

  • Portable hearing loops
  • A quiet space/room
  • All sites are wheelchair accessible
  • All sites have access to language line
I have mobility issues; will I be able to access the clinic?
All flu vaccination clinics are accessible to those with mobility issues. If you are housebound and cannot travel we can arrange for your vaccination to be done at home. Details will be provided in your appointment letter.
Will it be safe to go to a flu vaccination clinic?
Yes, all vaccination clinics will be following the latest guidance on infection prevention and control and any current COVID-19 related measures will be in place.
Should I wear a face covering?
Yes, please wear a mask unless you are exempt.
If I am not feeling well or have any of the COVID-19 symptoms what should I do?

If you have a temperature, persistent cough or loss of taste and smell before your vaccination, please contact the national helpline on 0800 030 8013 (available 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) to reschedule your appointment. Please do not attend your appointment.

When should I arrive for my appointment?
Please arrive on time for your appointment and not too early. Due to physical distancing requirements we are limited to how many people are allowed into buildings, so if you arrive too earlier for your appointment you may be asked to queue outside.
What should I wear to my appointment?
Please dress for the weather as you may be required to wait outside for a short period before you can enter the venue. If you can, wear loose-sleeved or short sleeved clothing under your outer wear that will help the vaccinators administer the vaccine more efficiently.
Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?
Wherever possible, please attend on your own, unless you require assistance or are unable to get childcare.
Is there car parking available at clinic locations?
The vaccination clinics are being held at a range of community venues across Grampian. Car parking will be available near or at the location. Please check in advance when your appointment is allocated for local parking capacity and arrangements

CONTACT

Please contact your local flu helpline:

Aberdeenshire: 0330 128 9919 (available 8:45am - 4:30pm)

Aberdeen City: 0800 030 4713 (available 9am - 5pm)

Moray: 0345 337 9899
(available 8:30am - 4.30pm)

National Helpline (available 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week)
0800 030 8013

 

Visit NHS Inform for further information on the Flu Vaccination programme

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