What is the Flu?
The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses A or B. “the flu,” is an illness caused by RNA viruses that infect the respiratory tract of humans. “The flu” virus results in a person getting a fever, cough, headache, and tired with no energy; some people also may develop a sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Most people have symptoms for about one to two weeks and then recover with no problems.
What is the difference between Trivalent and Quadrivalent flu vaccines?
Scientists research the most common influenza strains that cause infection to determine which strains to use in the yearly vaccine.
Trivalent is a flu vaccine that offers protection for three different flu viruses that will circulate during the flu season and is also known as the traditional flu vaccine.
The Quadrivalent vaccine protects against four strains of influenza viruses. Therefore, the quadrivalent vaccine will cover both A and B strains offering a broader protection.
When should a vaccine be taken?
Most of the illness caused by influenza can be prevented by annual influenza vaccination or more commonly known as “the flu jab”. As soon as the influenza vaccination is made available it should be taken, the early vaccines are the most effective and are usually given in April before the Influenza season hits.
Who should get the Flu Vaccine?
People from the ages 6 months and older, who don’t have any medical objections to the vaccination, should receive a flu vaccine each year.
Children and adults with chronic diseases including asthma or other chronic pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease (exception of hypertension), hepatic, haematological, renal or metabolic diseases (including diabetes) is highly important that they received a vaccine.
More so for people who have a higher risk of influenza-related complications to be vaccinated. Including the following people:
- Pregnant women during the influenza season
- Children 5 years and under
- All adults over the ages 65
- Adolescents and children on long-term aspirin therapy
- Morbidly obese people with a BMI over 40
- Healthcare personnel
- Caregivers and adults in contact of children under age 5 or the elderly
- Caregivers at a higher risk due to their personal medical conditions
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits of receiving ‘the flu jab’, it is safe to have a vaccination during a pregnancy, efficient, highly affordable with easy after care and is recommended for all ages above 6 months, protection against strains A & B viruses during the influenza season.
An annual flu shot is your first step of defence of the virus
Now’s the time to talk to your GP.