Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Seasonal flu vaccination

This year we will be running two flu clinics in October 2017 with the aim of vaccinating eligible patients right at the beginning of the flu season to offer the best possible protection.  You will shortly receive an invitation in the post with a 1-hour time slot to attend for your flu vaccination on one of the dates below. If the time offered does not suit please phone to reschedule and we will be able to accommodate you at another time in one of the clinics.

Flu Clinics


Clinic date Patient Groups
Saturday 7th October 2017 Patients under 65 years at increased risk from flu (see further details below), preschool children over the age of 2 years, carers and pregnant women
Wednesday 11th October 2017  All patients over the age of 65

Download your flu clinic questionnaire here. Please print one off, fill it in and bring it with you to your flu vaccination appointment.

About Flu

Seasonal flu is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by a flu virus. It spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of infected people.

Seasonal flu immunisation, or the flu jab, is the injection of a vaccine against flu. It gives good protection from flu that lasts for one year.

The flu jab is offered to people in at-risk groups, who are at greater risk of developing serious complications from flu. To stay protected, they need to have it every year.

The vaccine, which is normally available in the autumn, is made from the strains of flu that are expected in winter.

For more information on flu see

How the vaccine protects you

About a week to 10 days after you have had the flu injection, your body starts making antibodies to the virus in the vaccine.

Antibodies are proteins that recognise and fight off germs that have invaded your blood, such as viruses. They help protect you against any similar viruses you then come into contact with.

The flu virus changes every year, so you need to have a flu jab annually to make sure that you are protected against the latest strain of the virus

How effective is it?

The flu vaccines currently available give 70-80% protection against infection, with flu virus strains closely matching those in the vaccine.

In the elderly, protection against infection may be less, but immunisation reduces the chances of pneumonia, hospital admissions and death from seasonal flu.

For most people, seasonal flu is unpleasant but not serious and they recover within a week. Certain people, however are at greater risk of developing serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These may require hospital treatment. A large number of elderly people die from flu every winter.

The seasonal flu vaccine is offered free of charge to these at-risk groups to protect them from catching flu and developing these complications

At-risk groups

It is recommended that people in the following groups have the seasonal flu vaccination:

  • aged 65 or over
  • pre-school children aged two years or more on the 1 September 2017 (D.O.B range 02/07/13 – 01/09/15). For children a nasal vaccine is available
  • chronic respiratory disease
  • chronic heart disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease
  • diabetes
  • immuno-suppressed
  • household contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
  • pregnant women
  • morbid obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • live in a residential or nursing home
  • those who are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • health and social care professionals directly involved in patient care

If you are the parent of a child (over six months) with a long-term condition, speak to your GP about the flu jab. Your child's condition may get worse if they catch flu.

If you are the carer of an elderly or disabled person, make sure they have had their flu jab.

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