The Reliance GP Blog

Flu facts: Why you should be vaccinated this year.
Missy Tysoe April 7, 2016

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Flu facts: Why you and your family should be vaccinated this year.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread by contact with fluids from coughs and sneezes.

  • The vaccine cannot give you a dose of flu because it does not contain any live virus.
  • New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses.
  • Influenza immunisation is recommended for people in known high-risk groups. People who work or live with people who are at risk of serious complications should also be immunised to avoid spreading the flu.
  • Immunising people who are at risk of complications from the flu is the most important way we have to reduce the number of flu infections and deaths.

Why do I need to get vaccinated every year?

New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s viruses.

After vaccination, your immune system produces antibodies that will protect you from the vaccine viruses. In general, though, antibody levels start to decline over time — another reason to get a flu shot every year.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older.  Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza complications, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults
  • Young children

Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses of flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, to be fully protected. Check with your child’s health care provider.

Chronic medical conditions can also increase your risk of influenza complications. Examples include:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer or cancer treatment
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Obesity

Who shouldn’t get a flu shot?

Check with your doctor before receiving a flu vaccine if:

  • You’re allergic to eggs. Some flu vaccines contain tiny amounts of egg proteins. If you have an egg allergy or sensitivity, you’ll likely be able to receive a flu vaccine — but you might need to take special precautions, such as waiting in the doctor’s office for at least 30 minutes after vaccination in case of a reaction.

There are also flu vaccines that don’t contain egg proteins, and are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use in people age 18 and older. Consult your doctor about your options.

  • You had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine. The flu vaccine isn’t recommended for anyone who had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine. Check with your doctor first, though. Some reactions might not be related to the vaccine.

Fact sheet– download here-http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/general/flu-vaccine-benefits.pdf

 

To book your flu vaccine, please contact us on 0243 041 333 or book online www.reliancehealth.com.au.

Melissa Tysoe | Marketing & Events | Reliance GP Super Clinic

Image: www.baysidemed.com.au

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