Benefits of Influenza Vaccination

Doctor and Patient

Pharmacist Applying Bandage to Vaccination Location

Vaccines are one of the best ways by which you can protect your child from flu and cold in winter. Even if you have not vaccinated your child at the beginning of the season there is still a chance to do before the advent of epidemic influenza. Vaccination is even more important because any flu can be accompanied by many complications.

Unfortunately, a lot of people confuse flu with a cold (runny nose), without taking in consideration the severe implications that can have this respiratory infection not only on him but also on others.

Symptoms Develop Rapidly

Specific influenza symptoms are less similar to the symptoms of ordinary cold or other respiratory infection signs.

Symptoms generally appear quite suddenly, growing extremely quickly: headache, chills, fever, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, loss of appetite, cough, malaise, etc.

Influenza Can Lead to Meningoencephalitis

Influenza virus has a very high infectiousness, transmitting the flu by coughing and sneezing of a sick person. Infection starts usually, with an upper airway inflammation: throat, nose and may be complicated by bronchitis, pneumonia and even respiratory failure.

In the case of extrapulmonary complications, may appear signs of myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle disease), severe cases leading to meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and meninges).

To avoid these troubles, it is prudent to conduct prevention by vaccination especially in children. Most sensitive against flu are children aged between 6 months and 5 years and those suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma or many other different lung problems, congenital immunosuppression, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, HIV / AIDS, diabetes mellitus, sickle cell disease (sickle cell anemia in), children having aspirin therapy or experiencing any disorder that may reduce a proper functioning of the lung  such as s cognitive dysfunction , seizure disorders, spinal cord problems and injuries or different neuromuscular disorders).

Also, experts the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention U.S.) recommends seasonal influenza vaccination for the following categories:

People living with children younger than 5 years
– Caregivers (nannies, housekeepers, etc.) of children under 5 years
– People who live or have close contact with children of any age with a chronic health problem (asthma, diabetes, etc

Vaccination before the Epidemic

The ideal time for vaccination is autumn (October-December) as antibody production takes several weeks, providing protection against influenza vaccination for at least six months, which covers winter from October to March.

However, if vaccination was not made in October, can be done at the beginning of a flu outbreak.

How many Doses are Needed

Children between 6 months and 9 years need to get a high antibody titer of two influenza vaccine doses every 4 weeks. The first dose stimulates the immune system, but the protective antibody titer will be made ​​only after the second dose. Children who receive only one dose have a  significantly reduced or even absent protection in high season.

Children over 9 years and younger children have had an influenza vaccination, need only one dose annually.

The Side Effects of Vaccination

After vaccination, local reactions may occur for short duration at the injection site. It’s about pain, redness, itching or rarely, systemic reactions, such as: fever, chills, headache, myalgia, vomiting. All these are of short duration (one to two days) and are minor compared to the possible complications of influenza infection. Influenza vaccines are contraindicated during acute febrile illness or in case of allergy to substances components (especially the eggs).