Do we have to get vaccinated against the flu?

The flu epidemic arrives with winter every year and lasts until March. It should not be confused with a cooling, because the consequences can be serious particularly for the elderly 65 +, pregnant women, babies and people with chronic illness. Every year there are several hundred deaths and hospitalizations for influenza in Switzerland.

The flu is a viral infection (influenza) causing fever > 38 ° C, muscle aches and joints, coughs and other symptoms, which lasts for the most part people about 10 days, but the weakness can last longer time. Complications like pneumonia can be dangerous for some. That's why it's important not to catch it in the first place. It can be easily transmitted from one person to another directly or indirectly.

The most effective way to prevent infection is through a vaccine. The vaccine does not contain a virus and cannot produce disease. It prepares the immune system so that it can fight the virus more effectively if an infection occurs, limiting its duration, severity, and in half the cases complete protection. (Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Nov 15; 63 (10): 1304-1311). As the virus changes every season, it is necessary to be vaccinated every year. In addition, annual vaccination reduces mortality by 75%. (Lancet. 1995 Sep 2;346(8975):591-5).  Vaccinating pregnant women reduces the rate of hospitalization of newborns for respiratory distress (Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 OCT; 35 (10): 1097-103).

And the Homeopathic vaccine? It is not a vaccine in the strict sense of the term and this name induces in error. It does not replace the real vaccine in any case and its efficacy cannot be proven. Swissmedic, the drug regulatory body does not recommend its use. "I must know that the recommendations of this type are misleading and endanger the lives of patients ()"Swissmedic Journal 09/2011, and Bulletin of Swiss Doctors FMH 2011; 92:40)

Everyone is invited to get vaccinated. But the people who have to get vaccinated each year (recommendation of theWho), and for whom the vaccine is taken over by the basic health insurance are (in order of precedence):

Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy

Children from 6 months to 5 years

Persons aged ≥ 65 years

People with chronic conditions (cardiac, renal, hepatic, neurological, immunological, diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc).

It is also valid for anyone in contact with someone in these categories. Do not hesitate to vaccinate yourself during the whole period between October and March. Your doctor will be able to give you Further information.


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