Flu Vaccination FAQ

Will the flu vaccine protect me from the ’flu, and how long does it take to begin working? 

In 2024, we are offering the Afluria Quad Vaccine which protects against four strains of Influenza. The influenza vaccination protects against the four strains of the ’flu most likely to be around this coming winter and gives you 70-90% protection.  

You won’t be protected from the common cold. It takes about two weeks for immunity to develop, so if you have already been infected with the virus before you have produced antibodies you may still get the ’flu. 

I had a flu injection last year, why do I need another one? 

Each year’s vaccine is only effective for six months to a year. The influenza virus also mutates each year so last year’s vaccine will not protect you from this year’s strains of the virus. 

Can I catch the ’flu from the vaccine? 

The vaccine cannot give you the ’flu’ as it contains no live viruses. The vaccine also contains no blood products. 

I heard I can get it for free from my GP, is this right? 

Some people are eligible for a free vaccination through their GP if they are over 65, have a chronic illness or meet other health criteria.  For a complete list of who is eligible for free vaccinations at their GP clinic, please contact Ministry of Health or your GP. 

What are the side effects of the flu vaccine? 

Reactions to the vaccine are rare. A small number of people may get some redness or swelling at the site of the injection or feel slightly unwell or feverish for a day or two. You can put an icepack on the injection site if it’s sore and take Paracetamol.  

In very rare instances there may be a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine and the nurses will have with them emergency equipment. If you are going to have a severe reaction this is most likely to happen in the first 15 minutes post vaccination.  For this reason, we ask you to wait in the presence of the nurse for 15 minutes after we give the injection.  

At the time of the vaccination, we will give you a card to take with you detailing the vaccine you have been given – if you do require additional medical attention take this card with you to your medical practitioner so that they know what you have had  

If I’ve had my COVID Vaccines, can I still get the flu vaccine and do I still need it?  

Yes you can. The COVID-19 vaccination only protects you from COVID-19, so you will still need the flu vaccine in order to protect yourself from Influenza. You don’t need to wait a certain period of time between each vaccine as they can be taken at the same time.