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Fight Flu – A shot in the arm, not the dark

Fight Flu – A shot in the arm, not the dark

Flu season is upon us, and it is time to vaccinate!  Yes, you need to vaccinate every year. Eliminate the guesswork and rather have peace of mind that you and your family are all protected. The flu is unpredictable, yet preventable.

Types of flu

There are three main types; A-, B- and C-strains. A-types are the most severe, and include among others the N1H1, also known as, the Swine flu virus. C-types are mild and are similar to the common cold.

There is more than one type of flu vaccine available

There are two vaccines available, namely the trivalent (three-strain) and quadrivalent (four-strain) vaccines. The three-strain contains two A-types and one B-type, and the four-strain contains two strains of both A and B.

The four-strain vaccine is recommended as it covers more than the three-strain vaccine. However, the three-strain vaccine is a bit more affordable.

No, the vaccine cannot give you the flu

Inactivated flu viruses are used to create the vaccines. There are cases where people get the flu even if they have gotten their shot, but some factors that needs to be taken into consideration.

  • You may have been exposed to the flu right before or after you got the shot, therefore it did not have time to work yet
  • You may have gotten a strain that is not common and therefore not covered in the vaccine

Why you need a shot every year

Vaccines are modified each year, as the strains mutate. New strains pop up, old ones disappear. Each year, a prediction is made of which strains will most likely be doing the rounds, and those are the strains that will be included in the flu vaccine. It is very likely that, once a vaccine for the COVID19 (coronavirus) have been secured, that it could be included in the flu vaccines. Unfortunately, we are still a while away from this, as estimates indicate another year or two.

During pregnancy

It is highly recommended that you get your flu shot, especially if you are pregnant. Flu can be very dangerous for you and your unborn baby, and could be detrimental to your baby in the few months after birth.

Getting your flu shot will give you a much-needed boost and provide antibodies for your child invitro and in the few months after birth.

Children

The vaccines are safe for children and babies, from the age of 6 months. The four-strain vaccine is only recommended from 3-years and older.

People who are predisposed to medical complications whilst they have the flu

  • Pregnant women
  • Infants younger than two
  • The elderly
  • Healthcare workers
  • Morbidly obese / underweight persons
  • Those with pre-existing medical conditions

It is never too late to get the vaccine

It is recommended that you get the vaccine in March and April. If you can still get it after this time and you have not yet, get it! You are still at risk even after you have had the flu. This is because there are more than one strain and you have no guarantee that you won’t get sick again with another strain.

Where to get it

  • Both the three and four-strain flu vaccines are available at the Mopani Wellness Clinics.
  • We can come to you! If your school / place of work is interested on on-site vaccination, let us know!

No appointments are needed. For more information, you may send us a message on Facebook or give us a call on 013 755 5500

To remember

  • A once off vaccine once a year may save you a trip to the doctor, medicine costs and even hospitalisation fees!
  • The bigger the vaccinated population, the better the Herd Immunity!

Read more: Coronavirus Update – 6 March 2020 – COVID-19

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