Flu vaccination: protect your health

Flu vaccination: protect your health

Chills, high fever and sore throat are typical symptoms of flu. However, the disease can also have serious complications, especially for older people or those with underlying diseases. Influenza infection can also increase the risk of secondary heart, blood vessels and lung diseases. This year, there could be a particularly severe wave of influenza, especially given the many abolished or less strict coronavirus protection measures. But what can you do to prevent the flu? The best solution is a . Below, you will find more information on how vaccination can protect you and others.

Why should you get vaccinated against the flu?

Many people mentally mix a cold, i.e. a “flu-like infection” and the “real” flu with each other. However, even if both diseases are associated with an infection of the respiratory tract, they should not be confused. While the course of the disease in the case of a flu-like infection is usually mild, a flu illness can undoubtedly be accompanied by severe symptoms and complications.

Influenza carries various risks, especially for people over the age of 60:

  • Severe course possible: People over 60 years of age have an increased risk of a challenging course of flu because their immune system is weaker due to age. This can lead to organ damage, such as pneumonia. The risk of heart attack or stroke is also increased. In the worst case, an influenza infection can lead to death.
  • Increased risk of secondary diseases: Various studies show that even in people without underlying diseases, the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke can be up to ten or eight times higher after influenza. 1.2
  • Worsening of chronic diseases: Infection with the flu can make existing lung diseases (such as COPD or asthma) or even diabetes worse.

Even without complications, the symptoms of influenza are often so severe that people over 60 often suffer from the symptoms for longer. In addition, they usually take longer to fully recover from the effects of the infection, even after the acute illness has subsided.


Flu vaccination is currently particularly relevant.

Getting a flu shot is particularly important these days. On the one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet – even if the omicron variant causes predominantly milder disease courses. Older patients, in particular, are still at risk from the virus and are more likely to develop severe symptoms of the disease. A dual infection with COVID-19 and flu poses a specific risk here.

Even if the hygiene measures that have been abolished, such as mouth and nose protection, contact restrictions or minimum distances, are reintroduced in autumn or winter, experts see an increased risk of increasing flu infection numbers. This has already been observed in Australia. There, too, the coronavirus protection measures were largely lifted. Between May 9th and 22nd of this year alone, the Australian Health Agency reported more than 26,000 flu infections. For comparison, From January to November 2021, just under 600 cases were reported.

In addition, In the last two years, most people have hardly come into contact with flu viruses due to the protective measures in force, such as distance rules or the obligation to wear masks. This is one of the reasons why the last two flu waves were very mild. As a result, however, many people no longer have sufficient antibodies to fight the pathogens – community protection has fallen. This is all the higher the more people are protected from infection with a disease – for example, through immunity or vaccination. This will also curb the spread of the virus. A flu vaccination can, therefore, help to protect yourself and those around you.

Flu vaccination – prevent the disease.

There is currently an increased risk of contracting the flu. It is also a fact that an influenza infection can severely restrict the quality of life. Active participation in life is not possible for the duration of the illness, and, in the worst case, it can be permanently impaired by complications and secondary diseases. It is all the more essential to take action yourself at an early stage to prevent influenza.

This is where the comes into play: It is an uncomplicated way to protect yourself against a flu infection and thus prevent unpleasant symptoms and possible complications. In addition to protecting your health, you also protect people in the immediate vicinity – parents, grandparents, grandchildren, friends or other people with whom you spend a lot of time. The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) specifies in its recommendations for whom the flu vaccination is essential.


Recommendation of the STIKO: Who should be vaccinated?

If a flu vaccination is recommended, the statutory health insurance companies bear the costs. The Standing Committee on Vaccination recommends influenza vaccination to the following groups of people due to the increased risk of a severe course:

  • people over 60 years of age
  • People with underlying diseases such as asthma or COPD, diabetes mellitus, heart or circulatory diseases and kidney diseases
  • Pregnant women from the second trimester of pregnancy or the first trimester in the case of previous illnesses
  • Residents of old people’s or nursing homes
  • Persons with an increased risk of infection (e.g. due to frequent contact with others for work-related reasons)
  • People in close contact with people are at increased risk of severe disease.

In principle, however, a flu vaccination can be helpful for anyone who wants to protect themselves or their relatives from the disease. However, the assumption of costs for the vaccination must then be clarified in individual cases with the responsible health insurance company.

Can vaccination reactions occur after a flu vaccination?

Overall, the flu vaccination is well tolerated. The following vaccine reactions may occasionally occur:

  • Redness, pain and swelling at the injection site
  • headache and muscle pain
  • a general feeling of illness
  • fever, chills and sweating

These symptoms usually go away on their own within a few days. Vaccination cannot cause influenza because the vaccines do not contain active influenza viruses.

When should you get vaccinated?

Ideally, a flu vaccination should be given at the beginning of the flu season – i.e. from October to mid-December. However, vaccination is still important and helpful at a later point in time, up until spring. After the vaccination, the immune system needs about 14 days to build up protection against the flu virus.

Since influenza viruses change frequently, the corresponding vaccines are regularly adapted. For this reason, the flu vaccination must be renewed once a year. Regular influenza vaccination helps build consistent community protection among the population. This can significantly reduce the spread of flu viruses.

Seek medical advice if you have any questions.

If you have any further questions about the flu vaccination, it is best to contact your family doctor. Many pharmacies now also offer appropriate advice and even carry out vaccinations. During the conversation, you will receive additional information about which flu vaccination suits you and when the right time is for the vaccination. Simultaneous vaccination against flu and COVID-19 is also possible.

Still active in life – also thanks to the flu vaccination

You can easily prevent the flu by getting a flu shot. This protects you and those around you from infection and its possible consequences. Arrange a vaccination appointment with your family doctor or ask your pharmacy. This way, you can get through the flu season well and participate actively in life.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *