Getting the flu vaccine is more important that ever this year, as people at high risk from COVID-19 are also those most at risk from flu.
Should a patient feeling unwell have a vaccination?
Vaccination may be postponed in those who are acutely unwell until they have fully recovered. This is to avoid confusing the differential diagnosis of any acute illness by wrongly attributing any signs or symptoms to the adverse effects of the vaccine.
Should a patient who is self-isolating attend for a vaccination?
Those displaying symptoms of COVID-19, other infections, who are self-isolating because they are contacts of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, should not attend.
Patients eligible to recieve NHS-funded flu vaccine but recently in contact with or diagnosied with COVID-19 infection can be vaccinated when recovered and self-isolation requirements have been fulfilled.
What should I do about a fever following a flu vaccination?
Vaccinated indivduals, parent and carers should be advised that flu vaccinaes may cause a mild fever which usually resolves within 48 hours. This is common, expected reactions and isolation is not required unless COVID-19 is suspected. Feeling generally unwell, shivery, achy and tired are also commonly reported symptoms following flu vaccination. These symptoms usually disappear within one to two days without treatment, but paracetamol can be given if necessary to relieve any of these symptoms. As has always been recommended, any fever after vaccination should be monitored and if indivduals, parents or carers are concerned about their, or their child’s health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.
Will the flu vaccine make you test positive for coronavirus?
The flu vaccine will not interfere with testing for COVID-19.
The test for COVID-19 looks for the specific genetic sequnce of the SARS-CoV2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease.
Flu viruses have a very different genetic sequence from SARS-CoV2 virus so having the flu vaccine cannot affect the COVID-19 virus test.