With the O'Briens private vaccination service you don’t need to wait for an appointment at your GP surgery. Our pharmacists are trained, qualified and authorised by PharmaDoctor to administer all vaccines. Whether you missed out on childhood vaccinations or you need a hepatitis B jab for your new job, O'Briens Pharmacy are here to help. Have a look below at all the vaccinations we offer. If you need vaccinations for your next trip abroad then have a look at our travel health page
Visit one of our O'Briens Pharmacy branches or call them to book an appointment. Eligible customers may have a flu vaccination for free through our NHS funded service at any of our branches. If you are interested in arranging flu vaccinations for members of your organisation, please email our head office.
About the vaccine
- When to get vaccinated: You can be vaccinated at any time during the flu season (September / March).
The best time to get vaccinated is September / early November.
- Course: One dose.
- Boosters: The flu jab is developed to protect against current common strains of the flu every year. You can have a flu jab every year.
- How it is given: The flu jab is given as an injection in the upper arm, and protects against the most common strains of the virus.
- Side effects: The flu jab can cause side effects, such as mild flu symptoms, but it is an inactive vaccine so can not cause flu itself. The injection can cause redness, pain, and swelling at the injection site.
How can I get the flu jab?
Visit your O'Briens pharmacy – if you want to get the flu jab, please visit your O'Briens Pharmacy.
You might be able to get your jab for free – we also offer free flu jabs funded by the NHS in all of our pharmacies. Please check with your local O'Brien's Pharmacy to find out more. You may be eligible if any of the following apply to you:
- You’re over 65
- You’re pregnant
- You have heart or lung problems, including asthma
- You’re diabetic
- You have a chronic kidney or liver condition
- You have a long term neurological problem, including if you had a stroke
- You have another illness
- You have a BMI (body mass index) over 40
- You are immunosuppressed or looking after someone who has immunosuppression
Where else can you get the flu jab? – you can also get the jab from one of the following places:
- Your GP surgery
- A local midwifery service (if you’re pregnant)
Why get the flu jab?
The flu jab helps prevent you getting the flu and having to experience symptoms or take time to recover – the flu jab reduces your risk of getting the flu. Although the flu jab does not prevent 100% of all flu cases, people who have been vaccinated and who catch a strain of the flu they are vaccinated against, tend to have less severe symptoms which usually improve within a shorter period of time.
Getting the flu can be dangerous for some people – although it’s a common viral infection, the flu can cause serious complications in children, the elderly, those with a weakened immune system and pregnant women. For these groups, the flu jab offers protection not only from the flu but helps to reduce the risk of more serious illness and the secondary complications of flu, like pneumonia.
What happens when you do get the flu? – the flu is a common viral infection which spreads by little droplets usually released by coughs and sneezes. It is particularly common during the winter months and causes unpleasant symptoms, like fever/chills, tiredness and muscle aches which can last for days. Although the symptoms tend to clear within a week in people who are otherwise healthy, it can cause serious complications in pregnant women, elderly patients, young children and people with an impaired immune system.
What happens if I get the flu jab?
You won’t get the flu itself, but you can get some of the symptoms – the flu jab is not a live vaccine, which means you cannot get the flu from the flu jab. However, the flu jab may cause flu-like symptoms as a side effect. The side effects of the flu jab tend to be mild and they usually pass within days. If you get an injection, the injection site may be red and sore for a few days after you have received your vaccine. Your nurse or pharmacist will also give more information about potential side effects.
Some people can have an allergic reaction, but this is rare – a small number of people can have an allergic reaction to the vaccine (anaphylaxis). The medical staff giving you your vaccine will be trained to respond to this situation in the unlikely event it happens to you. If you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine before you should avoid another vaccination. The vaccine we use is safe for those with egg allergy except if this is very severe, such as an anaphylactic reaction that needed intensive care – talk to your nurse or pharmacist for more information.
When will it start working? – it can take up to 14 days for your immunity to develop after getting the flu jab. This is why it’s always best to get vaccinated early in the season to minimise your chance of catching it before you develop immunity.
How often do you need to get the flu jab?
You need to get vaccinated every year in order to stay protected – the flu virus is constantly changing and a new vaccine is formulated every year to remain effective against the most common strands of the flu which are circulating that year.
When should I start thinking about getting the jab? – the best time to get the vaccine is before the beginning of the flu season, but you can also get it later in winter.
Should I get the jab if I’ve already had the flu this year? – yes. There is more than 1 strain of flu virus in circulation every year and by having the flu vaccination you can reduce your chance of getting other strains even if you’ve already gotten over one infection.
Which symptoms does the flu cause?
The flu can cause a range of symptoms – the symptoms can be mild or severe and they usually improve within a week.
Symptoms of the flu include:
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Stomach pain and digestive problems such as diarrhoea
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
How long do symptoms normally last? – although the symptoms tend to improve significantly within seven days, you may find that you feel tired for a while after an episode of the flu. If you’re worried your symptoms are severe or not improving, seek medical advice.
Is it flu symptoms or a cold? – the flu is often confused with the common cold, which can cause very similar symptoms. When you have a cold, your symptoms tend to be milder and they usually come on gradually. For further information on identifying your symptoms, read our guide on how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu.
More information can be found at the NHS Website
The pneumococcal vaccine protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. It's also known as the pneumonia vaccine.
Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning) and meningitis.
At their worst, they can cause permanent brain damage, or even kill.
About the vaccine
- Course: There are two different pneumococcal vaccines. Both consist of one dose. Our pharmacist will let you know which vaccine is suitable for you.
- Boosters: No boosters required.
- How it is given: Injection in the upper arm.
- Side effects: The vaccine can cause mild side effects, for example tiredness, a higher temperature and redness or swelling at the injection site.
- Children: Suitable for children from the age of two.
Your nurse or pharmacist will recommend the most suitable vaccine for you based on your age, health and preference.
We offer the pneumococcal vaccination for patients over the age of two.
Why get vaccinated?
Pneumococcal infections are caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. The infections can lead to illnesses such as:
- pneumonia (lung infection)
- ear infection
- meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord)
- septicaemia (a type of blood poisoning)
- sinus infections
Severe infections cause brain damage, or even death.
Although pneumonia is more likely to severely affect patients under 2 and over 65 as well as those with long term health conditions, pneumonia can affect anyone.
The vaccine protects you against pneumococcal infections and the complications it can cause.
Who can get it on the NHS?
Anyone can get a pneumococcal infection, but not everyone is offered the pneumococcal vaccine for free on the NHS.
Those who are at high risk and get the pneumococcal vaccine on the NHS, are:
- babies under 2 years old
- adults over 65 years old
- people with long-term health conditions, like chronic kidney or heart disease
Who can have the vaccine?
Not everyone can have the pneumococcal vaccine.You can’t have it if you:
- have a vaccine allergy
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- have a fever or temperature at the time of your appointment
How does it work?
The pneumococcal vaccine works by making your body produce antibodies that fight pneumococcal bacteria. Antibodies destroy organisms or bacteria carrying disease, and help fight off infections.
The NHS estimates that the pneumococcal vaccine is between 50-70% effective in preventing pneumococcal disease.
Which side effects can it cause?
It isn’t possible to catch a pneumococcal infection from the vaccine, because it doesn’t contain any live bacteria. It is a very safe vaccine, but like all vaccinations, it can cause some side effects.
Common side effects of the PCV vaccine include:
- swelling, hardness or redness where the injection was given
- slightly decreased appetite
- somewhat higher temperature
- trouble sleeping, and sleepiness
Serious side effects (which are rare) of the PCV vaccine include:
- allergic skin rash
- very high temperature, sometimes leading to convulsions (febrile seizures)
The PPV vaccine has some common side effects:
- mild pain or hardness where the injection was made (1-3 days)
- somewhat higher temperature
The only serious side effect of the PPV vaccine is an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions are very rare, and happen within a few minutes of the injection. Anyone who is given either vaccine is fully supervised in case this happens, so that it can be treated with adrenaline straight away.
How can you prevent pneumonia?
Any activity that causes damage to your lungs increases your risk of pneumonia. In order to prevent pneumonia, avoid smoking and inhaling second hand smoke. Drinking more alcohol than recommended can also weaken your lungs and make them more susceptible to infection.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung tissue, usually caused by a bacterial infection, but can also be caused by viruses or breathing in harmful substances. This infection can spread from the nose and throat, and through inhaling droplets after someone sneezes. The bacterial infection can occur as a complication of other viral infections too so avoiding catching viral infections in general may also help you avoid complications such as pneumonia. Wash your hands regularly, use tissues when you sneeze and dispose of any tissues without delay.