Flu vaccination – What you need to know
Highly contagious and responsible for countless illnesses and some deaths every year, the flu is a viral infection you want to avoid. Also known as Influenza, the flu causes fever, headache, body aches, fatigue and more, and can even prove fatal for those at risk of complications.
Flu vaccination is your best defence against the virus and worth the trip to your doctor’s office or local pharmacy in Earsfield. Combining vaccination with hand washing and avoiding exposure to other sick people will help you safely navigate the flu season each year.
Who is at risk of complications from the flu?
For some people, the flu may be a temporary, although unpleasant, inconvenience that resolves within a week. If you’ve already contracted the flu, your doctor or pharmacist can advise of flu or influenza treatments that may ease your symptoms.
For others in certain risk groups, contracting the flu can result in very serious or life-threatening complications. According to the National Health Service, these at risk groups include adults age 65 and over, pregnant women, and children and adults with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems. These people may be more likely to develop complications like pneumonia and a flu vaccine is advised every year.
Where can I get my flu vaccination?
The influenza vaccine can be delivered by needle injection or nasal spray for children, at your family doctor’s office, local pharmacy or through some midwifery services for pregnant women. The flu vaccine is available at no cost to those deemed at risk by the National Health Service; however, non-eligible adults will be required to pay a fee.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is your best defence against the virus, but not a complete defence. While you have a lower risk of contracting the flu, it is still possible to get it. If you happen to still contract the virus, your vaccine should make your illness shorter and less severe than if you were unvaccinated.
The influenza virus and vaccine are always changing, which means you should get a new vaccination each year. For most, the vaccine will be free of side effects, and will be worth the short visit to get it for the added protection throughout flu season.