People can get the flu jab starting this month, as influenza viruses start to spread through the general population. Those who need the jab are the young, old and immunocompromised, who can get it for free on the NHS right now. Others cannot, as they may be too sick or be allergic to ingredients within the vaccine.
Can you get the flu jab with a cold?
The flu is making rounds alongside a cacophony of viruses.
On top of several different strains of influenza, swine flu among them, there is the common cold.
The human body is also at increased risk of contracting infection, with colder, dry air drying up mucous glands.
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Fortunately, the common cold is often mild, and doctors advise people who catch it can still get a flu jab.
People who already have the flu or have a fever from another illness are advised not to get the vaccine.
Some people may also be allergic to the contents of the vaccine, so should consult with a doctor before they consider getting one.
People on antibiotics from an infection may also take the vaccine.
Can you get the flu from a flu vaccine?
According to Dr Tanaya Bhowmick, an infectious disease expert with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in the US, you cannot get the flu with the jab.
When asked if this was possible, she told My Jersey Central: “No, but people should realise the vaccine takes two weeks to be effective, so they still could contract the flu during this period.
“The vaccine exposes your body to a weakened form of the virus, which allows you to mount an immune response.
“So, essentially you are getting a ‘mini-flu’ illness, which is why people may feel ill after getting the vaccine.”
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How can you deal with the flu when you have it?
When people contract the flu it can be debilitating, confining people to bed for up to a week on end.
The best treatment for the flu is to stay rested, drink lots of fluid to avoid dehydration, and take ibuprofen and paracetamol.
Those in high-risk groups or are immunocompromised should see a doctor, as the flu can cause complications.
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