Flu season is upon us!
Winter is on it's way and that means coughs, colds and flu! For many people, having flu means a week in bed with some TLC but for others it can be very serious, requiring hospitalisation and may even be fatal.
Certain groups of people are more at risk of complications from flu (see below.) These groups should have an annual flu vaccine.
Contrary to popular belief, flu vaccine does NOT give you flu! You may feel a little “off colour” following the vaccine, but if you develop true influenza it is because you have been in contact with an infected person PRIOR to having your jab. You may develop flu for up 2-3 weeks after receiving the vaccine as it takes this amount of time for the vaccine to confer protection. If you develop flu after your flu jab, I’m afraid it is because you have caught it from somebody before the vaccine has had time to “kick in”.
Everybody over the age of 65 is advised to be vaccinated as many older people die needlessly each year following complications associated with flu.
You should also consider vaccination if you have:
Any chronic lung disease, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis and asthma. It is also recommended for any child who has previously been admitted to hospital with a chest infection.
Heart disease including angina and heart failure, or if you have ever had a heart attack.
Kidney disease including nephrotic syndrome, kidney failure, a kidney transplant.
A serious liver disease such as cirrhosis.
A weakened immune system, including those who are receiving chemotherapy or steroid treatment, if you have HIV/AIDS or if you have had your spleen removed.
Certain serious diseases of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis.
Or if you are a pregnant woman
Other groups who should consider vaccination are health care workers, people who work with poultry and those who live in nursing homes or other residential institutions.
Flu vaccines are now available so don’t delay in booking yours!