Influenza flu vaccine
Although influenza is a disease that usually heals by itself, it can present complications (bronchitis, pneumonia, encephalitis, etc.)
It causes many deaths during episodes especially among old people and other people with health problems. (People suffering from heart, with breathing problems like asthma or bronchitis, or people with weakened immune systems, people suffering from AIDS. etc.)
In order to prevent influenza, every year a vaccine is developed. It contains inactivated or weakened viruses which have been grown in chicken eggs. The virus in the vaccine correspond to the strain it is supposed to be active during next flu outbreak.
Seasonal flue prevention
There are two types of flue vaccines:
- The inactivated virus type: It contains dead flu viruses. It is administered through an intramuscular injection.
- The attenuated virus type: It contains weakened flu viruses. It is administered through spray
High risk flue groups
It is recommend to vaccinate all those people who are among the risk groups before flu occurs. It is interesting to vaccinate in autumn before first flu outbreak appears, but this can be done in winter. The following table shows those who are within the risk group.
Should all people be vaccinated against seasonal flue?
People who are not in these groups may optionally be vaccinated with injectable influenza vaccine, except children younger than 6 months or people allergic to the vaccine or eggs.
Intranasal influenza vaccine is more restrictive than injectable type. It can only be applied to people aged from 2 to 49. This type of vaccine can not be given to pregnant women and in some other occasions. The following chart shows a list of circumnstances in which a person should not be vaccinated.
How safe and effective influenza vaccine is?
Flu vaccine is effective in healthy people in between 70 and 90% of cases. This proportion is much lower in people with health problems or in people older than 65 years. If in spite of being vaccinated, if someone contracts the disease, symptoms will be minor.
Flue vaccine does not cause any side effects other than a painful reaction in the upper arm or symptoms similar to a cold, such as runny nose (specially if vaccination has been done by means of spray) or headache.. Neither injectable or spray vaccination can cause influenza.
Does another effective treatment exist?
In addition to vaccines, a series of antiviral drugs that can be provided. The are considered interesting if the people at risk can not be vaccinated or have not been vaccinated on the due period. They must be applied at the beginning of infection, provided that the physician considers it interesting.
More information about flue and its natural treatment in the listing above
Other interesting articles
This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.