THE vaccine Against the the flu it is an important weapon against this disease, which kills several people annually. Influenza immunization takes place annually, usually before the onset of winter, around April.
The vaccine changes every year, as it is prepared using the types of Influenza viruses that are in greater circulation. Therefore, it is essential that a person, even if they have already been vaccinated in the previous year, get vaccinated again. The vaccine is safe and important to prevent severe cases of the disease.
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What is the flu?
The flu is a disease that affects the respiratory systemand is caused byvirus Influenza. There are three types of this virus circulating in our country:type A, type B and type C.
Among them, type C is responsible for causing the infections milder. Type A and type B are responsible for epidemics, and type A, more specifically, also promotes pandemics. In this sense, we can mention the great pandemic that occurred in 2009 as a result of the virus Influenza type A, subtype A (H1N1)pdm09.
the flu causes symptoms, like fever (usually above 38°C), body pain, headache and dry cough. It differs from the cold, mainly because it is not common for fever to occur, and when it does occur, it is usually low. In flu, the fever lasts around three days, but the other symptoms can continue even after the flu, the respiratory symptoms becoming more evident.
The flu, unlike what many people think, is a disease that deserves attention because complications from it can even lead to death. One of the most observed is the development of pneumonias secondary bacterial strains. It is noteworthy that complications are more common in the elderly, pregnant women, children under the age of five, and people with chronic diseases.
Influenza can be prevented with simple measures such as: wash your hands with soap and water; sanitize with 70% alcohol gel; not share personal items; maintain well-ventilated environments; and avoid agglomerations in times of outbreak. In addition, we have the flu vaccine, offered annually.
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The flu vaccine is offered every year in order to prevent serious cases of this disease, which also kills many people every year. According to the Pan American Health Organization, every year “about 772,000 people are hospitalized and between 41,000 and 72,000 die as a result of the disease in the Region of the Americas”.
The vaccine is produced using the types of Influenza viruses that are most in circulation, being manufactured, therefore, after extensive global monitoring. This means that, every year, one must be vaccinated to ensure such protection, since the vaccine is frequently reformulated. According to the Ministry of Health, in 2020, the vaccine will be trivalent and will have the following composition:
- A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09
- A/South Australia/34/2019 (H3N2)
- B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)
The vaccine is applied before the beginning of the brazilian winter, as it is at this time that the vast majority of cases occur. According to the Ministry of Health, the period of The flu lasts from late May to August.
Like any medicine, the flu vaccine can produce adverse effects. Among the most common side effects are pain and redness at the application site.
Read more:Why should we be vaccinated against the flu every year?
Who should be vaccinated against the flu?
The flu vaccine is safe and prevents complications, but it is not recommended for children under six months and people who have severe allergy to eggs.
You priority groups for vaccination are: elderly, children from six months to under six years, pregnant women, postpartum women up to 45 days after delivery, health workers, education professionals, people deprived of liberty and prison system employees, indigenous peoples, people with chronic diseases, and security forces and rescue.
Read too: 10 ways to prevent yourself from colds and flu
Is the flu vaccine free?
The flu vaccine is offered both in the public and in the private network. At public network vaccines are free and offered to priority groups, in the National Influenza Vaccination Campaign, which usually starts in April.
It is noteworthy that this date can be anticipated, this being the case of the 2020 campaign, which moved from April to March in order to ensure greater protection to priority groups and avoid confusion with the diagnosis of COVID-19, which presents symptoms look alike.
Read too: COVID-19 - disease caused by the virus of the coronavirus family
How long does it take for my body to be protected?
After vaccination, the body takes about two weeks to stay protected. During this period, the person can get the flu, as there was no immunization yet. According to the Pan American Health Organization, the flu vaccine efficacy tends to be moderate (about 40% to 60%) and changes every year. However, every year, the vaccine is responsible for preventing millions of cases, hospitalizations and deaths related to the disease.
By Vanessa Sardinha dos Santos