The Flu Vaccination – Am I Too Late?

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\In short, the answer is no. You can still avail of our flu vaccination service in any of our Donegal based Brennans Pharmacies today, and through this blog we hope you will learn why it is so important to get it now more than ever. But first, let’s have a quick recap about all things ‘flu’.

WHAT IS THE FLU?

Influenza is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Influenza affects people of all ages. Outbreaks of influenza occur practically every year, usually in winter. Therefore it is also known as seasonal flu.

FLU VS COLD

It is often quite difficult to distinguish between the flu and common cold, see our Flu Vaccine section (found under Services) to find out how to spot the difference.

WHAT IS THE FLU VACCINE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

The flu vaccine is an annual injection that contains inactivated or ‘dead’ influenza virus particles. The vaccination is administered into the deltoid muscle of the arm. The vaccination allows a person’s body to build up immunity against the influenza virus, this means if they come into contact with the virus that they are able to fight it off without becoming infected. The seasonal flu vaccine prevents flu illness in approximately 70% – 90% of people.

MYTH BUSTING

1. THE FLU VACCINE IS DANGEROUS AND CAN GIVE ME THE FLU – False

The flu vaccine will not give you the flu. The virus that is in the vaccine is dead and so cannot
cause the flu. A small number of people find they feel achy or feverish after the injection, this is your body reacting to something foreign being injected into it and is not a potentially serious illness like the flu.

2. INFLUENZA IS NOT SERIOUS SO I DON’T NEED THE VACCINE – False

As many as 650,000 people a year can die from the flu.* This number of only accounts for deaths directly linked to the respiratory system affected by the influenza virus. More deaths are likely caused indirectly by the influenza virus as other complications can occur as a result of infection. Other complications include sinus/ear infections, pneumonia and heart or brain inflammations. (World Health Organisation, 5 myths about the flu vaccine 2019)

3. I AM PREGNANT SO I SHOULDN’T GET THE FLU VACCINE – False

The flu vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy and it is more important for pregnant ladies to get their flu vaccination as their immune systems are lower than usual.

4. I GOT THE FLU VACCINE AND STILL GOT THE FLU, SO THE VACCINE DOESN’T WORK – False

It can take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide protection from the influenza virus, in this time it is possible to still catch the flu. Another point to note is the flu vaccine this year contains four different strains of flu which it provides protection from. This means it is possible (no matter how small of a possibility!) to catch a different strain of influenza that isn’t found in the flu vaccine.

WHY GET THE VACCINE NOW?

The flu season lasts from the beginning of October until the end of April. This means that we are not even halfway through the flu season for 2019/2020. In the last two years, the highest numbers of hospital admissions in Ireland relating to the influenza virus have been in January; which is surprising as most people would consider flu season to be finished at Christmas! So if you have not yet received your annual flu vaccine, we here at Brennans Pharmacy urge you to get the shot today.

Thank you for reading.

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