Vaccine against influenza .. useful or unnecessary?

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In the past two years, influenza has claimed thousands of lives, and experts and researchers emphasize the importance of taking a vaccine against influenza, especially for certain groups of people. But there are also some who question the viability and effectiveness of the vaccine.

Winter is the peak time of year for flu, which differs from a common cold. Symptoms of flu include high body temperature, cough, sore throat, colds, body aches and headaches, as well as a general feeling of illness and fatigue.

Estimates this year that the unusual influenza wave, which swept Germany in 2018/17 claimed the lives of about 25 thousand people, that this is the highest number of cases of deaths from colds in the past thirty years.

Who needs the flu vaccine?

The Robert Koch Institute estimates the number of people infected with influenza in winter in Germany between 4 and 16 million people, noting that not everyone infected by influenza viruses get sick, according to the Web site "German" Web.

The Institute's experts recommend that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and stay away from infected people. The Institute's Permanent Vaccination Committee, known as STIKO, recommends that certain groups of people take flu vaccinations in the fall:

People over 60 years of age
The owners of chronic diseases
pregnant women
Medical and health workers
Employees in institutions with a large audience

"Everyone should be vaccinated" against the flu, "including children, because everyone benefits," said Professor Matthias Belts, director of the Institute of Infection Medicine and Hospital Hygiene at the University Hospital in the eastern German city of Jena.

"This reduces the risk of infecting others and thus also protects family and friends," Beltz, who is also a spokesman for the German Infectionology Association (DGI), said in an interview with the Web site.

The best time to take a flu shot

Depending on the country in which you live, the peak period of influenza is in Germany, for example, spread of influenza at the beginning of the year in the months of January and February, so it is advisable to take the vaccine a month before, that is, by the end of November or the beginning of December. The body's immune system needs two or three weeks to form a protective shield against the disease.

Reservations to the vaccine

The influenza vaccine has less protection than other vaccines recommended by the Robert Koch Institute Permanent Vaccination Committee.

Skeptics say the flu vaccine does not provide 100 per cent protection. The reason is that the influenza virus has a great ability to mutate, so it is difficult for researchers to determine the type of virus most powerful in the body.

In addition, the influenza vaccine is not a permanent protection and should be taken every year.

The protection it offers varies from person to person because each body reacts differently to the vaccine. Older people say the vaccine is less effective.

"When a person who has had the vaccine gets the flu, it is protected to the extent that it may be infected only slightly and should not be transferred to intensive care, which means that the vaccine reduces the severity of the disease," says Professor Belts.

But if the vaccine is taken earlier, the level of antibodies in the body could drop from a distance when, say, February, so there is not enough protection against influenza at its peak.

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. (tagsToTranslate) Flu (t) Winter (t) Cold (t) Vaccine (t) Older (t) Children (t) Pregnant

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