Flu: 7 questions and answers about the flu



Best Flu Prevention: Influenza. Image: KEYSTONE

Hello, Vaccine Respondents – These 7 responses to influenza vaccine are specially for you

Today, November 9 is the National Day of Influenza. Those who are nowadays have the advantage of a recommended lump sum of 30 francs. Stakeholders can spontaneously use this offer in one of the practices of doctors or pharmacies involved in the campaign.

Many people do not want to vaccinate – for various reasons. However, highly contagious influenza ("flu") is often underestimated because they want to confuse them with a markedly harmless influenza infection ("coldness"). The flu severely weakens the immune system and can cause life-threatening complications. Every year, up to 1,500 people die in Switzerland from this disease and its consequences.

Although the vaccine does not provide 100% protection against infection, it is the best flu remedy. The vaccine is most effective when given before the flu episode begins – preferably from mid-October to mid-November. Recommended for those who want to protect themselves and do not want to infect others. If you belong to the risk group (see section 5), urgent vaccination is required.

How effective is influenza?

The vaccine can not provide absolute protection because the flu viruses are changing so that the immune system can not always reliably detect and fight it. Efficacy also depends on what viruses are moving and whether the vaccine is covered. Coverage varies from year to year, but often exceeds 90 percent.

In addition, other factors, such as the age of the vaccinated, affect efficacy – in elderly people it is lower. Therefore, the effectiveness of the vaccine for a particular season can not be accurately quantified – the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reduces the effectiveness
younger adults have a 70-90% risk of illness, with a senior in the neighborhood
30-50 percent.

However, with regard to the disease despite the vaccine, the symptoms are often
weakened. In addition, serious complications occur less frequently.

Can the vaccine have side effects?

Yes. Approximately one third of the vaccinated subjects have redness and mild swelling or pain at the injection site. They take a few hours to two days and do not require any treatment.

Nausea, edema, allergic asthma or – usually with an allergy already present – are more often associated with a severe allergic reaction. If you suffer from serious side effects, you should see a doctor.

Extremely rarely, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) occurs – in about one case per million vaccines. GBS, however, occurs much more frequently due to complications of influenza infection. The vaccine protects more than GBS before it starts. In any case, there is a risk that influenza causes serious complications, much higher than the risk of serious adverse effects of the vaccine.

Influenza vaccines. Image: KEYSTONE

Can the vaccine cause flu?

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

Why vaccine people sometimes have flu-like symptoms?

Five reasons can lead to:

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

Low Protection: Primarily in the elderly or immunocompromised, only the immune system of the weak body develops after vaccination and is only partially protected. But if flu gets, the symptoms are less and less likely to cause complications.

Vaccination time: It took about two weeks to develop the body's immune system. At this time you may be infected.

Adverse effects of vaccination: Five to ten percent of the vaccinates can respond with fever, muscle pain or weakness. These symptoms are usually harmless and will disappear after a short time.

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

Influenza is not a harmless disease. Image: KEYSTONE

Who should be vaccinated?

Those in the risk group should be vaccinated. This applies:

  • People over 60
  • Pregnant women from the second trimester (then the baby is protected during the first months of life)
  • Premature children from six months of age during the first two flu periods
  • chronically ill
  • overweight people with BMI over 40 years old
  • medical staff and carers because they have an increased risk of infection. They also have a greater risk of infection in patients.
  • Residents of pension and nursing homes

Should I be vaccinated even if you belong to any risk group?

If you come into contact with people at home or at work who have an increased risk of complications, you should be vaccinated. How to prevent these vulnerable people from being infected.

In healthy children and healthy younger adults, seasonal flu is usually uncomplicated. Her symptoms are uncomfortable. In addition, autumn vaccinations may, for example, prevent flu during winter holidays.

When should you not be vaccinated?

Those who have a severe allergic reaction to any previous influenza vaccine should not be vaccinated. This also applies to people who are very allergic to eggs.

If you have high fever, you should wait with the vaccine until it disappears. Otherwise, vaccination protection could be reduced.

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

Health and Nutrition

So you cough and sneeze right:

Video: Watson / Emily Engkent, Angelina Graf

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