Far too few people in Germany can be vaccinated. In particular, risk groups such as pregnant women or the elderly often underestimate the importance of a flu shot for them. Last year, only 40 percent of high-risk patients had been vaccinated.
Last year there were almost nine million visits to doctors due to flu. As a precautionary measure for the coming season, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) therefore recommends that they be vaccinated in October or November, because the protection works only two weeks after the treatment. A flu epidemic can take place from the beginning of December to the end of May.
Who is a flu particularly dangerous and therefore a vaccine is inevitable?
- People older than 60 years
- pregnant woman
- chronically ill, diabetics or people with heart disease
- medical staff and healthcare providers
What you need to know about the flu shot
When will the next flu epidemic start? A flu epidemic is difficult to predict and often varies greatly. It usually starts in January and takes three to four months.
How fierce will the next flu episode fail? In short, this can not be predicted. The strength of flu waves varies, but the RKI estimates that there are up to five million flu infections every year.
When is the best vaccination time? Because the vaccine protection is only after ten to fourteen days, the vaccine must already take place in October or November. If you vaccinate later, you run the risk of getting infected, because the flu season usually starts in December.
Does a vaccine protect you in any case? There is no absolute protection. Despite vaccination, it can lead to diseases, especially in the elderly, whose immune system generally does not respond as well to a vaccine. In addition, influenza viruses may not match the vaccine because it can not always be determined by the individual flu outbreak.
What side effect can occur during vaccination? Occasionally there is swelling or redness at the injection site. Chills, fatigue, nausea, headaches and body aches can also occur in the first few days.
After the vaccination in the past year is a new one needed? Yes, she usually only holds one season. Risk groups must refresh the vaccine every year, because the protection slowly erodes. In addition, influenza viruses can change from season to season and therefore need to be adjusted again.
What is the difference between colds and flu? A cold (flu infection) and a flu have different pathogens and therefore nothing to do with each other. A cold is usually a disease of the airways, which usually does not last long. Flu, on the other hand, causes sudden, rapid and severe symptoms such as fever, shivers, muscle pain, syrupy nose and irritable cough. In more serious cases, this can even lead to death, especially older people are affected.
What does the current vaccine look like? Experts were able to identify two subgroups of two known types of influenza viruses. That is why the previous triple drug was replaced with a quadruple drug this season.