Flu: When is the best time to get vaccinated?
The flu season is already here and once again there are recommendations from experts and medical bodies calling for vaccination – is it really necessary? It is important to know that every year hundreds of thousands of people in Israel become infected with the virus and develop typical disease symptoms. Although the majority of the population will recover within a few days and will not develop any complications, there are a few for whom the flu is a serious and even life-threatening illness. Influenza is a viral disease, but following it, the risk of contracting bacterial diseases increases, which can be especially dangerous for adults over 65, smokers or patients with immune system problems.Is there an ideal time to get vaccinated?

In general, any time during flu season is a good time to get vaccinated, but it’s best to get vaccinated early. The timing of the injection is important to allow the body to create a strong immune response before the peak of the winter season. Since it takes time for the body to build antibodies that will help fight the virus, you should get vaccinated already these days – during the month of September. The effect of the vaccine begins in about two weeks.

When should you not get vaccinated and why?

In general, the Ministry of Health recommends vaccination against influenza for the entire population from the age of 6 months and older, if there is no contraindication. In cases of febrile illness, with a fever higher than 38 degrees, the vaccine should be postponed until recovery (if the fever is lower than 38 degrees, you can get vaccinated after consulting a doctor). In any case, a live attenuated vaccine (given in a spray) is not intended for people with a history of a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the component, for pregnant women, for those suffering from a deficiency in the immune system due to disease or immunosuppressive treatment.

Is the flu vaccine safe during pregnancy?

The answer is yes. Influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women at any stage. Influenza is a highly contagious disease, which can cause complications such as: Pneumonia, heart problems and damage to the nervous system. In severe cases, the complications of the flu can lead to hospitalization and even life-threatening. during the period The pregnancy and after the birth The risk of getting the flu and developing complications that endanger the health of the woman and the fetus increases. That is why it is very important to get vaccinated in order to reduce the chances of infection.

Are side effects expected? After a flu shot?

About 40% of those vaccinated report redness, swelling and sensitivity in the injection area. These should pass after a day or two. More rarely, other symptoms may occur such as fever, muscle pain and others, which usually appear 6-12 hours after the vaccination. These can last a day or two. It is important to note that serious side effects are extremely rare.

Is it possible to get a flu vaccine at the same time as a corona vaccine?

Yes. According to the updated guidelines of the health bodies in Israel and around the world, it is possible to get vaccinated at the same time or in close proximity to both the flu and the corona virus. The various vaccines will be given in the opposite limbs (one vaccine in each shoulder), so there is no need to wait between the vaccinations. Although it is always recommended to consult the attending physician, it is likely that the answer will be positive.

The author is Dr. Amir Amasha, a family doctor at Maccabi Health Services North District

By Editor

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