FLU VACCINE – IS IT FOR ME?
Of course it is for everyone. Let’s see why.
When there is a seasonal change we are prone to Influenza commonly referred to as flu. Though not a serious sickness, it can lead to complications, hospitalization and can even be fatal. Since it is an air-borne infection, it spreads fast and is highly contagious. We are all aware of what it is to go through a bout of flu. This can be mostly prevented by getting a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is given either in the form of an injection or a nasal spray. However for the current year, Centre of Disease Control (CDC US) recommends the injectable form only.
There are two types of flu vaccines available -one is the trivalent vaccine which prevents against three strains of virus and quadrivalent which protects against four strains of virus.
Who is it for?
For anyone above 6 months of age. Flu vaccines are very important for older people, those with pre – existing illness and conditions and for immune-compromised individuals among others. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
Every flu season is different, and can affect people differently. You need to get the vaccine annually as the antibodies that your body produces to protect against the virus are reduced in their potential with time, and every year flu vaccines are updated to protect against the fast changing virus strains.
How effective is the vaccine?
Mostly the seasonal vaccine provides immunity for the current versions of infection. At times, if you contract a strain other than the one covered by the vaccine, then you may fall sick, there is also a two week waiting period (after getting the vaccine) for the vaccine to be effective so any infection contracted before or during this time period may affect you.
All that it takes, is your awareness, willingness and preparedness. Talk to your doctor to know more.