Paying for a flu jab

I’m the most ridiculously healthy person I know. Yes, I suffer from IBS and eczema and will probably be on acne medication for life, but I’m never ill. And I don’t just mean soldiering on bravely. I am NEVER ill. The last time I had more than a cold was in 2009, and even that was only a mild virus that lasted three days.

But I’m aware this situation can’t last forever. And I’m also aware that my family aren’t made of quite the same tough stuff as me. So when I saw that you can pay for a flu jab at Boots (and no doubt lots of other pharmacies too), I thought we should do it.

Needless to say, none of us are eligible for free ones. We’re all over 8 and under 65, none of us are pregnant and none of us have long-term health conditions.

But flu can hit even healthy people hard. I know how hard it hit my husband and sons in 2012. My husband has had flu twice in his life – 2012 and when he was 16, the same age as my biggest boy now. I’ve had it once – when I was 11.

Earlier this year, we spent a whole four weeks with ill people in the house – my son had two separate nasty viruses that lasted a week each, my daughter had one that ended up with her on both antibiotics and steroids, then my husband caught my son’s second virus and was ill for a week. It probably wasn’t flu, but it wasn’t far off. The kids were both very ill – twice in my son’s case. And I don’t want to go through that again if we can avoid it.

For me, I’m the kids’ main carer and they would be lost without me. I also work freelance so only get paid when I work. If I’m too ill to work – or my kids are too ill for me to work – I don’t get paid. And that work just might be given to someone else in future, so I end up losing it permanently.

For the cost of £12.99 for a flu jab, we’re taking away a lot of uncertainty.

Having looked at it more carefully, it turns out the younger kids (the ones who need it most) can’t get a private flu jab, either at a pharmacy or at the doctor’s. But they are available for over 16s, so my eldest, husband and I have all had them. Even though the kids can’t have them, we are helping to protect them by having a jab, because it means we can’t pass flu on to them (although sadly the kids in their class can).

To have a private flu jab, you just fill in a form, the pharmacist talks it through with you and then it’s done in seconds. Now we’re protected from four strains of flu for the year and I didn’t have so much as an aching arm.

Have you ever considered a private flu jab?

This isn’t a sponsored or review post, we paid for the jabs ourselves, I just thought it would be an interesting experience to share.

Flu jab, Vaccination, Flu, Paying for a flu jab

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. We have a ‘don’t mention the flu jab’ thing going on in our house at the moment. My daughter was supposed to have the nasal spray in school as they give them to kids in years 2 – 4 in this county. She refused and had a huge fit apparently, so I took her to the doctors as she is asthmatic and I would be happier if she had it. She refused again. She won’t discuss it and tells us not to mention it and then those adverts started on TV and every time it comes on, she looks very sheepish. I think this year it is worth having, paid or not as they are saying that there will be a big epidemic this winter.

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    • Oh dear, that’s not good! I think it’s really good that they immunise kids up to the age of 8 these days, but you can’t force kids to do things against their will. I’m glad we’ve got at least some of us protected and just hope the other two don’t get hit by the epidemic.

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  2. as a family of genetic illness and chronic conditions we all qualify for ours for free. Our local chemist was only charging £7 as SIL1 paid for his, he is not blood related so does not have me to thank for him being entitled to it for free for life….lol
    I take mine on 3 counts a) as an asthmatic it would gone on my death certificate as “had underlying medical condition b) cos I work for the NHS and am in the firing line for catching it and 3) because Bob can not have it due to major allergies he is very vulnerable to it being in the community so it helps to stop the spread.
    I know his siblings are not given a choice on having it as DD1 cannot risk them bringing it into the house as it could prove fatal to Bob.
    I have had flu twice in life and it is a dreadful illness that floors you totally, and I agree with the analogy if you can get out of bed you don’t have flu cos crawl to the loo was the best I could muster for about 5 days.

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    • It really is a horrendous illness and I can’t imagine how much harder it must b for people with chronic illnesses. Poor Bob! That must be so scary for all of you.

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  3. It is a little different up here. All primary aged and nursery aged school children get the flu nasal spray at school. All my kids get it. I also get it and have had it due to my chronic kidney disease and my husband has asthma. However, if I didn’t get it free I think I’d definitely consider it. My oldest will be in high school next year, but still entitled due to asthma. I think it’s a good thing to get and I’d do it. xx #mondaystumble

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    • It’s great that you all get it. I wish all primary age kids had it here, not that it would help my kids now of course! This year they’ve extended it to 8. The only time my kids have had it was when swine flu was around and they were immunising kids up to 4, which was my daughter at the time.

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  4. Very interesting! Let us know if you suffer with any side effects, my husband has to have the Flu jab every year and the last two he suffered really bad for two months. He has just had this years one on Sat, this time so far so good. He’s not willing to take the risk of not having one.

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    • So sorry to hear about your husband’s side effects! It’s been two weeks since my husband and I had ours and 10 days since my son had his and none of us have had any side effects, so I think we should be OK now.

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  5. I keep thinking about having it for very similar reasons for you. Maybe I should just get on and do it. Surprising that kids in between 8 and 16 can’t get it – seems daft.

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    • Do it! I have no regrets at all and will definitely do it in future. It is strange that 8 to 15 year olds can’t get it done. In our house they’re definitely the ones most likely to suffer!

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