Hello, vaccinate your opponents – these 7 responses to the flu are especially for you


Attention, syringe with symbol photo! Image: imago

Hello, vaccinate your opponents – these 7 responses to the flu are especially for you

Daniel Huber / watson.ch

Many people do not want to be vaccinated – for different reasons. However, highly infectious influenza ("flu") is often underestimated, because you like to confuse them with a significantly harmless ("cold") influenza infection. The influence severely weakens the immune system and can cause life-threatening complications.

Although the vaccine does not provide 100% protection against infections, it is the best cure for influenza. The vaccine is more effective when taken before the onset of influenza – 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 are part of a risk group (see point 5), vaccination is urgent.

How effective is the flu vaccine?

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

In addition, other factors such as the age of the vaccine affect effectiveness – it is lower in the elderly. Therefore, the effectiveness of the vaccine for a given season can not be precisely quantified – according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) lowers in health
young adults the risk of illness of 70-90 percent, in the elderly around
30-50 percent.

However, if it is a disease despite the vaccine, the symptoms are often
weakened. Furthermore, serious complications occur less frequently.

Can the vaccine have side effects?

Yes. Redness and slight swelling or pain at the injection site occur in about a third of the vaccinated persons. They settle in a few hours to two days and do not require any treatment.

Rash of nausea, edema, allergic asthma or – usually with allergy already present – are more rarely associated with a severe allergic reaction. If you have serious side effects, you should consult a doctor.

Very rarely it reaches a Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) – approximately in one case to one million vaccinates. However, GBS occurs much more often due to a complication of an influenza infection. The vaccine then protects more from GBS than it does. In any case, the risk of the flu causing serious complications is much higher than the 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 inactivated virus fragments from various strains of influenza virus. You can not cause influence.

Why are vaccinated people sometimes having flu-like symptoms?

Five reasons can lead to:

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

Low protection: Mainly in elderly or immunocompromised persons only after a vaccination arises a weak immune system of the body and are therefore only partially protected. However, if they have flu, the symptoms are less likely to cause complications.

Vaccination time: It takes about two weeks for the body's immune system to develop. At this moment you can be infected.

Side effects of vaccination: 5-10% of the vaccinated can react with fever, muscle pain or mild malaise. These symptoms are generally harmless and disappear after a short time.

cold: Often a harmless cold is mistaken for influenza because the symptoms are similar. However, colds rarely cause complications.

Who should be vaccinated?

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

  • People over 60 years
  • Pregnant women of the second trimester (then the child is also protected during the first months of life)
  • Premature babies from the age of six months during the first two flu seasons
  • chronically ill
  • overweight people with a BMI of over 40 years
  • medical personnel and assistants, because they have an increased risk of infection. They also have a greater risk of infecting patients.
  • Retired residents and nursing homes

Where we already talk about health:

Do I have to be vaccinated, although I do not belong to any group at risk?

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

In healthy children and healthy young adults, seasonal influenza usually has no complications. His symptoms are uncomfortable. In addition, a vaccination in the fall can prevent, for example, during the winter holidays, the influence.

When should it NOT be vaccinated?

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

If you have a high fever, you must wait with the vaccine until it has calmed down. Otherwise the protection of the vaccine could be reduced.

In contrast, during pregnancy and lactation, the flu vaccine can be done without hesitation. It is recommended to protect the mother and the newborn from the influence.

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