8 reasons to get the flu vaccine
Written on the 3 May 2019 by Arrow
Did you hear that the flu vaccine makes you sick? Or that it weakens your immune system? Sorry to say you heard wrong.
In the lead up to winter there's a lot of chatter about whether or not it's worth getting the flu vaccination. But rather than basing your decision on a misinformed comment, we present the facts so you can protect you and your family against potentially serious illness.
1. Influenza can be serious it's not the same as a cold
Some cases of the flu can be severe, with 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations annually in Australia. According to the Influenza Specialist Group an estimated 1,500 deaths are caused by influenza every year (similar to the number of Australian road traffic fatalities).i
2. You can't get influenza from the flu vaccination
3. The flu vax reduces your risk of getting the flu
As per the NCIRS factsheet, the vaccine provides varying levels of protection, depending on your age, whether you're immune-compromised and how good the match is between the influenza strains present in the vaccine and those circulating out in the community.ii
Regardless, the Department of Health says that the flu shot is "your best shot at stopping the flu" and preventing the spread of influenza, recommending that everyone from six months old be vaccinated.iv
4. Most people don't have side effects from the vaccine
According to NCIRS, more severe immediate adverse effects such as hives or anaphylaxis are rare.ii
5. You need it once a year
6. April onwards is a good time to get the flu shot
7. It will not weaken your immune system
8. The vaccination isn't expensive; you might even get it for free
If you have to pay, it will be in the vicinity of $10 - $25 and you might even be covered by your health fund.
Now that you have the full story, it's time to book that doctor's appointment; like they say, prevention is better than cure.
The health and medical information is general information only and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified medical or other health professional. Always consult your general practitioner or medical specialist.