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Flu FAQs

My friend had the flu vaccine last year and then got really sick. I’m worried about getting unwell.

The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. You may have a mild high temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days after having the vaccine, and your arm may be a bit sore where you were injected.

Side effects of the nasal spray vaccine can commonly include a runny or blocked nose, a headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite.

My child doesn’t like injections. Is there an alternative?

All children will be offered the nasal spray vaccine rather than an injection.

How safe is the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccines used in the national programme have a good safety record. Flu vaccines that are used in England have been thoroughly tested before they’re made available.

I had the flu vaccine last year. Do I really need it again?

The flu vaccine will provide protection for you for the upcoming flu season. People eligible for flu vaccination should have the vaccine each year.

Are flu vaccines vegan?

The majority of flu vaccines are manufactured using hen’s eggs. Depending on the reasons why someone has chosen to follow a vegan diet, the flu vaccine may or may not be considered appropriate.

The best way of making an informed decision is by knowing how eggs are used in the manufacturing process of flu vaccines. This video shows how eggs are used during the process.

The nasal flu vaccine uses pork-based gelatine as a stabiliser, however this gelatin is highly purified and broken down, to the point that very sensitive tests have shown that no DNA from pigs can be detected in the vaccine. Gelatine is not used in the injected flu vaccines.

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