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Influenza 2018: What users need to know about vaccination


Caution, symbolic syringe! Image: imago

Hello, the vaccine's opponents – these 7 flu responses are especially for you

Daniel Huber /

Many people do not want to vaccinate – for various reasons. However, highly contagious flu ("flu") is often underestimated because you like to confuse them with a significant "cold" flu infection. The flu severely damages the immune system and can cause life-threatening complications.

Although the vaccine does not provide 100% protection against infections, it is the best treatment for influenza. The vaccine is most effective if taken before the onset of influenza episodes – preferably between mid-October and mid-November. It is recommended for those who want to protect themselves and do not want to infect others. If you belong to a risk group (see section 5), vaccination is urgently needed.

How effective is the flu shot?

The vaccine can not provide absolute protection because the flu virus moves so that the immune system can not detect and fight it safely. Efficacy also depends on the circulating viruses and whether the vaccine covers them. Coverage varies from year to year, but often exceeds 90%.

In addition, other factors, such as the age of the vaccine, influence efficacy – is lower in the elderly. Therefore, vaccine efficacy for a particular season can not be quantified exactly – according to the Federal Public Health Bureau (FOPH), it decreases
younger adults the risk of 70-90% sickness in the surrounding seniors

However, if it comes to a disease despite the vaccine, the symptoms are often
weakened. In addition, severe complications occur less frequently.

Can the vaccine have side effects?

Yes. Approximately one third of the vaccinated individuals have redness and slight swelling or pain at the injection site. These decrease in a few hours to two days and do not require treatment.

Nausea, edema, allergic asthma or, usually, allergy already present, are less commonly associated with a severe allergic reaction. If you suffer from severe side effects, you should see a doctor.

Extremely rarely a Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) occurs Рroughly one case per million vaccinated individuals. However, GBS occurs more often as a result of a complication of a flu infection. The vaccine thus protects more than GBS than it triggers. In any case, the risk that the flu will cause serious complications is far greater than the risk of serious side effects of the vaccine.

Can the vaccine trigger the flu?

No, it's not possible. The vaccine, which stimulates the immune system to produce specific antibodies, consists of fragments of inactivated viruses from various strains of influenza virus. You can not make the flu.

Why do flu-like symptoms sometimes be vaccinated?

Five reasons can lead to:

Insufficient coverage: If the vaccine does not completely cover the viral strains circulating, it only provides partial protection.

Reduced protection: First, in elderly or immunocompromised, only a weak immune system of the body appears after vaccination and are only partially protected. However, if the flu gets, the symptoms are less and less likely to cause complications.

Vaccination time: It takes about two weeks to develop the immune system of the body. At this point you can be infected.

Side Effects of Vaccination: Five to ten percent of the vaccinates can react with fever, muscle aches or a slight malaise. These symptoms are usually harmless and disappear after a short time.

cold: Often, harmless cold is confused with influenza, because the symptoms are similar. However, colds rarely cause complications.

Who should be vaccinated?

Those in a risk group should be vaccinated. This refers to:

  • People over 60
  • Pregnant women in the second trimester (then the baby is also protected in the first months of life)
  • Premature babies from the age of six months in the first two seasons of influenza
  • Chronic ill
  • overweight people with a BMI for over 40 years
  • healthcare workers and caregivers because they are at increased risk of infection. They also have a higher risk of infecting patients.
  • Residents of homes for retirement and nursing

Where we are already talking about health:

Should I be vaccinated, although you do not belong to a risk group?

If you come into contact with people at home or at work that are at increased risk of complications, you need to vaccinate yourself. How to prevent yourself from infecting such vulnerable people.

In healthy children and young healthy adults, seasonal flu usually translates without complications. Her symptoms are inconvenient. In addition, an autumn vaccination can prevent influenza, for example, during winter holidays.

When should NOT be vaccinated?

Those who have had a serious allergic reaction to any of the vaccines in a previous influenza vaccine should not be vaccinated. This also applies to people who are very allergic to white egg.

If you have high fever, you need to wait with the vaccine until it is diminished. Otherwise, vaccine protection may be reduced.

Instead, during pregnancy and lactation, the flu vaccine can be done without hesitation. It is recommended to protect the mother and the newborn from influenza infection.

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