Have you had your flu shot yet?
It’s pretty safe to say 2020 has been a difficult year! And it’s not over yet. Thankfully the Oberon LGA has had no reported cases of COVID19, though influenza is circulating. One thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you is to get the influenza vaccination. 2020 has seen the highest uptake of the flu vaccination, with stock running out in April this year. We are now fully stocked again with flu vaccinations at Oberon Pharmacy, and our pharmacists are available to administer your flu vaccination any day of the week – no appointment needed.
Some common questions about the influenza vaccination (from health.nsw.gov.au):
Does the influenza vaccine work?
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The influenza vaccine has been shown to be effective in preventing illness in about 50-60% of healthy adults under the age of 65 years. This can vary by year, the person’s age and underlying medical conditions. It takes about 2 weeks for the vaccine to become effective and protect the individual against influenza. By vaccinating yourself against influenza you are not only protecting yourself, but everyone around you.
Why is it necessary to receive another dose of the influenza vaccine each year?
Each year the strains of the influenza virus which are predicted to affect Australians are reviewed and the available vaccines may be changed according to the strains. The protection provided by influenza vaccines can begin to wane after a few months so children and adults need to be re-vaccinated each year before winter.
Can influenza vaccines cause influenza?
There is no live virus in the influenza shot, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine. The myth that the vaccine causes influenza probably results from a misinterpretation of mild vaccine side effects, which are a sign that the body is responding to the vaccine and producing protection against the actual disease for when you may come into contact with it.
Is the influenza vaccine safe?
As with any medications, vaccines can have side effects. The most common side effects following influenza vaccination include mild fever, headache, muscle, and joint pain and injection site reactions. These can occur in the first three days after vaccination and can generally be managed safely at home. Talk with your immunisation provider about what to expect.
Will the influenza vaccine provide protection against COVID-19?
The influenza vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19. However, it will protect you against influenza and help reduce the severity and spread of influenza this winter.