The Influenza virus is passed on by a simple sneeze, cough or touch. This can lead to illnesses more severe than those caused by other respiratory viruses such as the “common cold”. Its most common symptoms are abrupt onset of fever, muscle aches, joint aches, headaches, sore throat, cough and malaise.
Influenza vaccine is very safe. The most common side effect is soreness or redness or swelling at the site of the infection (in only 15%). This is temporary. We do bring along an antidote injection for the really bad reactions, but so far, have never had to use it.
Who should NOT be given the vaccine?
- Anyone with existing allergies to gentamicin, thiomersal, (preservatives).
- Anyone with serious allergies to eggs including individuals who develop swelling of lips or acute respiratory distress on ingestion of eggs.
- Anyone with a fever.
The vaccine is given as an injection in the upper arm.
A Freddo Frog is also given to alleviate pain and suffering.
No! This common misconception sometimes keeps people from getting the vaccination, but the injection contains only inactive virus particles.
Occasionally you may develop a runny nose or a sore throat but this is due to another viral infection. Unfortunately, the influenza vaccine will not protect you against these other minor infections. .
The influenza vaccine needs to be given each year because of its ability to change. It is formulated to combat the three most troublesome virus strains that are expected each year.