Influenza is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread by contact with fluids from coughs and sneezes. Annual immunization is recommended for seniors and other people who are at risk of serious complications from the so-called flue.

Influenza virus changes every year because it has unique ability to change its surface structure. Each year a new vaccine is developed and is available for those who wish to be immunized. Recent evidence suggests protection against influenza may start to decrease from three to four months following vaccination. Annual vaccination before the onset of each influenza season is recommended. While influenza continues to circulate it is never too late to vaccinate.

Checklist before you get your immunization

  • feeling unwell and your body temperature is over 38.5°C
  • having allergies to any other medications
  • have had a serious reaction to any vaccine
  • have had a serious reaction to any component of the vaccine
  • have had a severe allergy to anything

Side effects of the flu vaccine

The influenza vaccine can cause a range of side effects. They include:

  • drowsiness or tiredness
  • muscle aches
  • localized pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • occasionally, an injection-site lump that may last many weeks but needs no treatment
  • low temperature(fever)

People that should be immunized against the flu:

  • people with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity
  • anyone aged 65 years and older
  • pregnant women
  • people with heart disease, chronic lung disease, chronic neurological conditions, impaired immunity, diabetes, kidney disease

The immunizations you may need are decided by your health, age, lifestyle, and occupation. Consult your doctor.