It’s that time of year when the summer heat starts to ease off slightly & the leaves start to turn- Beautiful Autumn. It’s a time when we start preparing for winter & one of the ways in which we can prepare is with our health.
We can’t always plan for every eventually however the Flu vaccine is one such way where we can safeguard our health during the winter months.
The Flu vaccine has been shown to dramatically reduce the complications associated with flu & decrease the amount of flu related hospital admissions.
It is given annually in autumn and each year the strain is slightly different from the year prior in order to represent the common strains prevalent for that year.
Not everyone needs to have this vaccination, but these are some of the people who should consider receiving it:
1) Anyone over the age of 65
2) Medical/health staff involved in the care of others
3) People with underlying conditions i.e
-Chronic Kidney disease, asthma/COPD (smokers lungs), diabetes
-HIV positive with a CD4>100
-Morbid obesity, BMI >40
4) Residents in care homes
5) Pregnant women
Who shouldn’t have it:
Those with a severe allergy to egg or any of the vaccines components
Those with Guillian Barre syndrome
If you have a fever at the time, wait until it has settled before getting vaccinated
What you may notice after the vaccine:
Nothing, most people are symptom free. It will not give you the flu. You may notice some redness around the injection site or muscle ache and experience a low grade fever for 1-2 days.
Immunity develops about 2 weeks after the vaccination. The strain of flu is different every year & so the vaccine is tailor made for this each year. This means that you will need to have the vaccine annually.
Get yourself protected for the coming winter season – FEMINA HEALTH anticipates the arrival of our Flu vaccines by mid April.
Contributor: Dr Susan Ford