Tuesday , June 22 2021

Influenza 2018: What vaccine users should know about vaccination

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Hi, vaccine opponents – these 7 responses to the flu are especially for you

Daniel Huber / watson.ch

Many people do not want to be vaccinated – for various reasons. But the highly infectious flu ("flu") is often underestimated, because you like to confuse them with a very harmless influenza infection ("cold"). Influenza worsens the immune system and can cause life-threatening complications.

Although the vaccine does not provide 100% protection against infection, it is the best remedy for flu. The vaccine is most effective if it is taken before the flu offense begins – 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 required immediately.

How effective is the flu shot?

The vaccine can not provide absolute protection because the influenza virus mutates so that the immune system can not always reliably detect and combat it. The effect also depends on which viruses circulate and if the vaccine covers them. The coverage varies from year to year, but often exceeds 90 percent.

In addition, other factors such as the age of the vaccine affect the effectiveness – it is lower in the elderly. Therefore, the effectiveness of a vaccine for a particular season can not be quantified accurately – according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)
younger adult risk of disease by 70-90 percent, in seniors around
30-50 percent.

But if there is a disease despite the vaccine, the symptoms are often
weakened. In addition, difficult complications occur less often.

Can the vaccine have side effects?

Yes. In approximately one third of the vaccinated persons, redness and small swelling or pain at the injection site occur. They diminish within a few hours to two days and require no treatment.

Nausea disorder, edema, allergic asthma or – usually with allergies already present – are rarely associated with a serious allergic reaction. If you suffer from serious side effects, see a doctor.

Extremely rarely comes to a Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) – approximately in a case to one million vaccinated. However, GBS appears much more often as a result of a complication of influenza infection. The vaccine thus protects more from the GBS than it triggers. In any case, the risk of the flu causing serious complications is much higher than for serious side effects of the vaccine.

Can the vaccine trigger the flu?

No, that's not possible. The vaccine that stimulates the immune system to produce specific antibodies consists of fragments of inactivated virus from different influenza virus strains. You can not cause flu.

Why do vaccinated people sometimes have flu-like symptoms?

Five reasons can lead to:

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

Low protection: Immediately in older or immunocompromised persons, after vaccination, only a weak body's immune system occurs and they are only partially protected. But if they get flu, the symptoms are less and less likely to cause complications.

Time of vaccination: It takes about two weeks for the body's immune system to develop. During this time you can be infected.

Side effects of vaccination: Five to ten percent of the vaccinated can react with fever, muscle pain or a small disease. These symptoms are usually harmless and disappear after a short period of time.

cold: Often a harmless cold is inaccurate for the flu because the symptoms are similar. But colds rarely cause complications.

Who will be vaccinated?

Those belonging to a risk group should be vaccinated. This applies:

  • People over 60 years
  • Pregnant women from the second trimester (then the child is also protected during the first months of life)
  • Early childhood from six years of age during the first two influenza seasons
  • chronically ill
  • overweight people with BMI over 40 years
  • medical staff and caregiver, as they have an increased risk of infection. They also have a greater risk of infecting patients.
  • Residents in retirement and nursing home

There we already talk about health:

Should I be vaccinated, even if you do not belong to any risk group?

If you come into contact with people at home or at work who are at increased risk of complications, you should be vaccinated. How to prevent you from infecting such vulnerable people.

In healthy children and healthy younger adults, seasonal flu usually goes without complications. Her symptoms are uncomfortable. In addition, a vaccination in the fall can prevent, for example during the winter vacation, the flu.

When should NOT be vaccinated?

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

If you have high fever, wait for the vaccine until it has been lowered. Otherwise, the vaccine protection can be reduced.

On the other hand, the flu vaccine can be done without a doubt during pregnancy and lactation. It is recommended to protect the mother and newborn from influenza infection.

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