Vaccinations and immunisations FAQs

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There are many different types of vaccinations, otherwise known as injections or jabs. At Virgin Care Private we’re confident that, whether it’s a routine immunisation or you’re travelling to far flung areas of the globe, we’ve got you covered.

We cover the whole range, from travel injections, common childhood vaccinations such as MMR, to routine vaccinations such as flu jabs and immunisations for those 70 and over such as the shingles vaccine. You can find a list of all our vaccinations and immunisations here

Vaccines give us protection against specific diseases, vaccines contain a dead or altered form of the disease which is introduced into the body. This causes the immune system to work by making us produce antibodies to fight diseases without actually infecting us with the disease. The person that has been vaccinated will be able to recognise and fight the disease if they come into contact with it. This should equip the body and allow it to produce the antibodies needed to fight it.

AJ vaccine – what is it?

The AJ vaccine protects against tuberculosis (TB). Tuberculosis is a serious bacterial infection which affects the lungs and sometimes other parts of the body, such as the bones, joints and kidneys. It can also cause meningitis, symptoms including coughing, fever, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Who is it for?

This Tuberculosis vaccination is not given routinely and is usually given to babies, children and people under 35 who are considered to be at risk of catching or have recently arrived from countries that have a high risk of TB.

Do I need a skin test?

Before you can have a BCG you first need to have a skin test known as a Mantoux test, Mantoux skin test or tuberculin skin test. This shows if you have been exposed to tuberculosis germs before and if the BCG is needed.

How does the skin test work?

It is a widely used test for latent TB. A small amount of PPD tuberculin is injected into the skin on your forearm. If you have the TB infection a hard red bump will develop at the injections site, usually within 48 -72 hours.

How many appointments will I need?

You will require two appointments for the Mantoux test – first to administer the test then after 48 -72 hours to measure the results.

If the Mantoux test shows you are suitable to have the BCG vaccination and you wish to have it, it can be administered on your follow up visit.

Flu (Influenza) – what is it?

It is a contagious illness, it appears most frequently in winter and early spring. Commons symptoms include Fever, muscle or body aches, sore throat, headaches and fatigue.

How long does a flu jab last?

The flu jab is a short-term immunisation which lasts for a flu season, usually given to provide protection throughout winter and early spring. Annual Injections are advisable for groups that are at risk from flu. As will any health issue we always recommend seeking the advice of a GP or trained medical professional.

What are the vaccine side-effects?

Mild fever and slight muscle aches, these are usually mild and may last for a day or so. These are common side effects and are not always exhaustive, you should always consult a GP.

Should I get a flu vaccine?

The flu vaccination is available to certain people on the NHS, these groups include adults 65 and over, pregnant women, carers, healthcare workers and people with certain medical conditions.

If you don’t fall into any of these categories you can still have the vaccine administered privately, speak with one of our GP’s to decide if you should have a flu jab.

Hepatitis B (HBV) – What is it?

Is a life threatening liver infection which causes flu like symptoms which can often include a fever, aches and pains. In adults it can often show no symptoms and can pass without treatment. In children it can persist for years and can cause serious liver damage.

What are the vaccine side-effects?

Often there will be some soreness at the injection site, there may also be some redness and swelling, these symptoms are often mild and may only last a day or two. These are common side effects and are not always exhaustive, you should always consult a GP if you are unsure.

How long does the vaccination last?

Studies indicate that protection from hepatitis B, for most healthy people, lasts for 20 years after the correct course of immunisation.

Those that are at high risk may require a booster, a GP will be able to explain if you are at risk.

MMR – What is it?

Usually given in 2 doses, it is a single injection designed to protect children from measles, mumps and rubella. These are known as common childhood dieses and if untreated can lead to serious complications such as meningitis, encephalitis and deafness.

How long does the vaccination last?

Studies indicate that protection from MMR, for most healthy people, lasts for 20 years after the correct course of immunisation.

What are the vaccine side effects?

Most side effects are mild and short lived, these can range from a temperature, loss of appetite and a rash. Some children may develop a mild form of measles and a general feeling of being unwell for 2-3 days. These are common side effects and are not always exhaustive, you should always consult a GP if you are unsure.

Yellow fever – what is it?

It is a serious infection spread by mosquitoes, it affects the liver and kidneys causing a fever and can often prove fatal. It is found in parts of Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean and is administered by injection into your upper arm, recommend to people from 9 months of age who are travelling an area where

How long will it last?

The vaccine usually provides lifelong protection but there may be a need for some to have a booster after 10 years, your GP will be best placed to explain if a booster is needed.

What are the vaccine side-effects?

The common side effects are usually mild, these include fever, muscle pain and a headache. These are common side effects and are not always exhaustive, you should always consult a GP if you are unsure.

Do I really need a vaccination?

If you are travelling to or from a high risk country, you may need to provide a certificate to prove you have been vaccinated. Once vaccinated you are given a certificate which you may be required to show when entering or exiting certain countries.

Can too many vaccines be a bad thing?

Studies have shown there are no harmful effects from multiple injections in one sitting.

Babies and children come into contact with new bacteria every day, which is what helps strengthens their immune system and becomes stronger as a result.

As previously mentioned, the strength of the vaccine is reduced or weakened, please consult your GP, they will be able to answer any questions you may have.

How long does a vaccine last?

Depending on the type each will have varying rates of effectiveness. Be sure that you consult your GP for any top-ups or boosters that may be required.

For example, the BCG injection usually lasts your lifetime, however, flu jabs are required yearly to ensure protection.


Booking your vaccinations and immunisations

You can find all our vaccinations and immunisations here.

From booking your first or follow up vaccination appointments with us, our health and wellness experts are here to help you get healthier.

1. Book your first appointment by making an enquiry or by calling us direct on 0300 247 0121. We offer same-day and pre-bookable appointments.

2. We’ll text you a reminder of the time and date you should arrive at one of our friendly clinics

3. Meet with our experts and find the advice and reassurance you’re looking for

We hold ourselves to the very highest standards of confidentiality, which is why we’ve been awarded a Doctify certificate of Excellence. Everything we talk about will be confidential. We won’t share anything with your NHS doctor unless you ask us to.

Welcome to your clinic

Sit back, relax, and make time for you when you visit our clinic. Let our helpful client advisors check you in, then choose from a selection of entertainment and free Wi-Fi access. We’ve designed a feel good, stress-free space where you can focus on your health and wellbeing goals. There’s even a space for recharging your devices – as well as yourself.

You can find all our vaccinations and immunisations here.

For more information on our vaccinations or to make an enquiry, please give us a call on 0300 247 0121.

Make an enquiry about this service with one of our expert advisors