The name of the disease “flu” is translated from French – “grab”, “grab”, which indicates a high infectivity. A person within 10 days can secrete particles of the virus when sneezing, coughing, talking. The flu epidemic usually lasts about 2-4 weeks, usually at this time quarantine is introduced in schools.
But even such a measure does not always save children from infection, since it is very difficult to get them to wash their hands, restrict visits to crowded places or eat garlic. By the way, the effectiveness of garlic is rather doubtful, but if the rest of the diet is correctly, fully compiled, then it is quite possible not to get sick. Protecting yourself from getting the flu is not an easy task for some populations, which is why vaccination is recommended.
Influenza A virus is the most common cause of epidemics because it spreads most quickly in confined spaces. Virus B is more sensitive to environmental conditions, epidemics are rare. Even during the period of the disease, one strain (a pure culture of viruses, bacteria, other microorganisms or cell culture) can catch a different type of virus. For each type, after an illness for 1-2 years, an unstable immunity is established.
About 20% of people get the vaccine – most often pregnant women and health workers. Why in our country they do not like to get vaccinated against flu? Even doctors do not advise everyone to get vaccinated. And there are a lot of horror stories around vaccinations lately. In addition, many believe that they cannot afford a good quality vaccine. Only here the treatment of influenza, if you get sick, will cost more
Pros and cons of flu shots
Vaccination is not a panacea. But modern vaccines reliably protect the body from influenza. The incidence among vaccinees is 75% lower. In childhood, a correctly selected vaccine protects the child in 92% of cases of contact with the virus, inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media) is the most common complication of influenza in childhood, practically does not occur in vaccinated sick children and does not go into a chronic form. Rheumatic complications, joint damage are reduced.
Antibodies to influenza viruses produced by the mother’s body during pregnancy and lactation are transmitted to the child. In the first six months, he does not get sick. Therefore, the vaccine must be given either during planning or in the 2-3 trimester of pregnancy to protect the baby. Antibody transmission is a good reason to continue breastfeeding for at least one year.
Flu vaccination is contraindicated:
- pregnant women in the 1st trimester, when the main organs and systems of the baby are laid;
- children under 6 months;
- patients with asthma and allergies;
- anemic patients, as their immunity is reduced.
Recommended flu shot:
- children older than 6 months;
- older people over 55 years old;
- AIDS patients
- doctors and nurses;
- pregnant women in the later stages (2-3 trimester);
- suffering from chronic diseases of the respiratory system, heart.
Possible side effects:
- runny nose;
In general, the same symptoms as in the case of flu can be disturbing. This is fast on most vaccinees. Allergy sufferers may have Quincke’s edema. This complication develops in approximately one case out of 250,000. If you have previously had an allergy to vaccinations, it is better to refrain from vaccination. Moreover, there are effective measures for the prevention of influenza. In mild cases of allergies, only skin changes and a rash are noted.
How is flu vaccinated?
For adults, this injection is done on the shoulder, for children – on the thigh. Live vaccines are nasal drops. The latter are rarely used. Live vaccines have more contraindications, they have more side effects. The effectiveness of a live vaccine is always higher. It is advisable to be vaccinated in September-November. Later this is usually usually meaningless, the immunity will not have time to develop.
It takes about 10 days for the protection to take effect, sometimes up to 3 weeks. A flu shot was given, but the disease still occurred.
There may be several reasons why the flu vaccine did not work:
- infection occurred between the flu shot and the start of immunity, less than 10-20 days after vaccination;
- low-quality vaccine was used;
- the vaccination procedure was violated;
- adenoviruses and rhinoviruses can be easily confused with flu; they have the same symptoms.
Influenza vaccine in childhood
Not all types of vaccines are permitted for young children. The first flu shot is given, as usual, in October-November, and the second in a month. Live vaccines are not used up to 5 years. Up to six months, flu vaccination is contraindicated. The flu vaccine should not be given along with other vaccinations, a break should be at least a month. Live vaccines are contraindicated in pregnant women.
Flu shot: myths and misconceptions
Many vaccine adversaries point out that vaccines may contain harmful substances – preservatives and allergens. Preservatives are in any products. There is
no escape from this . But with an allergy to chicken protein, vaccination is really worth giving up.
The only more or less significant argument is that vaccines contain antibiotics. Do not get vaccinated if you have previously been allergic to kanamycin and gentamicin.
In this case, the risk is not justified, just wash your hands more often. Drugs to stimulate immunity can be advised by a doctor, do not ask a pharmacist for advice, but go to a general practitioner or family doctor. Immunomodulators include Viferon, Kagocel and some others. But before taking them, it is advisable to take an immunogram – this is a special analysis that shows what caused the decline in immunity. Earlier, at the first signs of the disease, they drank aspirin, but it can negatively affect the liver and blood. Up to 13 years of age, aspirin is not prescribed for influenza.
In addition to the vaccine, you can engage in other types of prevention available to everyone:
- wearing gauze dressings;
- wet cleaning, it is better to do it daily, since the heating dries the air;
- hardening, but here measure and gradualness are important;
- by airing the apartment and office, since dry heated air is an environment where viruses feel great and look for another victim;
- intake of a sufficient amount of fluid, at least 2.5 liters per day;
- swimming and winter sports;
- nutrition correction: in the cold season, you need to eat enough protein, seasonal vegetables and fruits should be present in the diet.
The decision on vaccination is always made strictly individually, taking into account contraindications. During the period when a person is sick with SARS, vaccination is not performed. In most cases, vaccination is an appropriate method of prevention, if harmful, then much less than the flu itself. With the vaccine, pre-neutralized, that is, inactivated viruses, are introduced into the body to familiarize them with the immune system. In the event of a collision with real viruses, the vaccine’s immunity will quickly cope with the disease.
Myths about the negative effects of vaccines are exaggerated. Yes, a vaccine will not give 100% protection. But if your work is related to communication, customer service, or you work in a hospital, school, kindergarten, it is worth getting a flu vaccine. But before vaccinating, the doctor must get your consent if it is a child. Only the parent is responsible for the health of the child. Let the pediatrician first examine him, listen to the lungs, measure the temperature. You can only vaccinate completely healthy.