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I pay for mine at superdrug (£9.95). dd and dh have asthma (and I have psoriatic arthritis but that doesnt seem to count as an eligible condition even though viruses flare it). I used to be able to get it at the gp cos of dd and dhs asthma, but the gp surgery has tightened up who can have it.
The Flu might make some things worse or "flare up",but the whole point of the vaccine is to reduce the possibility of people with seriousdebilitating diseases,getting Flu on top which would kill them.
There would be no need for you to be vaccinated "because of dd and dh's Asthma",because if they are vaccinated it "doesn't matter" if you get it,because you cant pass it on to them.IYSWIM.
Not trying to belittle your Arthritis,but the elderly,and people with heart/kidney/immunological problems would be severely disabled or die with Flu as well,hence its free for those that need it more desperately.
The GP Surgeries have to "tighten up" their criteria(which is specified by DOH) as people abuse the system.The surgery have to order and pay for them,and have to calculate their at risk patients for the amount they'd need,if they gave it to you,there may be an 80 yr old who can't have it,as the supply will run out.
blimey - a lecture! I wasnt actually complaining! Only had it at surgery under my gps advice before as you'll be aware flu vaccines do not confer 100% immunity. I was told it was a sensible thing to do!
If you look at the US recommendations they cover a much larger population including household members of those at risk CDC
My form of arthritis is an autoimmune condition which although doesnt leave me permanently disabled can and does lead to me being very seriously restricted at times. So whilst its not essential for me to have the jab I do prefer to try and prevent several weeks of very limited mobility.
But actually, if this is your field, can I ask you - does the fact that it can be bought privately affect the nhs supply? if it does then that isnt right.
Asthma was taken off the list of at-risk illnesses last year by the DOH. I've no idea why.
Anyway, back to the original question. The cheapest I've seen it offered privately is 10 quid at Asda.
At our surgery, we offer them to the at-risk patients first for a good few weeks to allow a decent uptake. Any remaining vaccines are then offered to whoever wants them, even if they are not 'at risk'. At no cost, but obviously later in the season.
It doesn't seem to affect NHS supply as we order them six months to a year in advance based on the previous year's uptake, and the manufacturers make the required amount. The only problem is when demand surges beyond expectation (like the year we had the bird flu scares and everyone decided that they wanted a regular flu jab all of a sudden).
BTW- If you are taking long-term steroids or immunosupressant treatment for your arthritis, you should be considered to be 'at risk'.
I'm astonished about asthma being taken off the list - I had no idea! I'm glad our surgery hasnt excluded it.
Tis reassuring to hear about the nhs supply because the last thing I'd want to do is deprive those who are most at risk.
Am on topical steroids (for psoriasis) which I'm pretty sure dont count? and anti-inflams (not v. effective now). Am waiting for rheumy appt, on my letter to gp when I last saw him he said that dmards are the next option but am really really hoping I'm not at that stage.
I think they are tightening up on who gets it because after pushing at people they now realise it doesn't work particularly well in the current form and because of the demand from a whole load of people who weren't at high risk .
The problem with the flu vaccine is you will never know if it was effective in you or not. The most you can ever say is ' I didn't get it as badly as I have before' or ' all my family got it but I didn't' so identifying who will benefit will always be hard.
I got offered a free flu jab as I am recently diabetic, but I turned it down, as I have never had lu in my life, and consider myself to be generally in good health. So who is guesing that I will get the worst dose of flu ever this winter!!!1