Seasonal Flu (Influenza) is an extremely infectious disease mainly transmitted through air with an increase in infection numbers during colder months.

One of the higher risk groups are pregnant women due to their organism being more susceptible to infections, and complications, in case of infection, are more severe.

Due to the pregnancy, some medication is restricted, and therefore, the more appropriate option to combat the flu is through prevention, with the best solution being the Seasonal Flu Vaccine.

If you are considering getting the flu vaccine but find yourself with some questions, we present you the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and their answers to get you the information you need regarding the vaccine.

Flu Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the seasonal flu? 

Seasonal flu (or influenza) is a very infectious viral, possibly life-threatening disease of the respiratory tract.

What is the seasonal flu vaccine? 

The flu vaccine is annual and contains three of the virus common strains. It is annual because the virus is ever changing, thus the need for a new vaccine each year.

How does the seasonal flu vaccine work?

The seasonal flu vaccine boosts your immune system’s production of antibodies to the flu virus. When a vaccinated individual is exposed to the flu virus, these produced antibodies react fighting the infection.

Why do pregnant women need to get the seasonal flu vaccine? 

Due to the higher risk of severe complications from flu, pregnant women should get the flu vaccine each year. The Flu vaccine shields women against the flu during the pregnancy extending the protection to their new-born baby for their first months of life and can be given at any phase of pregnancy.

Is it safe for pregnant women to be vaccinated?

Yes! The flu vaccine is perfectly safe for pregnant women. Flu vaccines have been administered for more than sixty years and have been prescribed for pregnant women across the globe for numerous years. In general, reported reactions are mild and severe side effects are infrequent.

Will my baby be protected if I am vaccinated?

Vaccine administration during pregnancy can protect your baby while also preventing you from a flu infection and subsequently passing it on to your child.

When should I get the flu vaccine?

For pregnant women, you should be getting it as early as possible in your pregnancy. In terms of flu season, this is usually between September and April.

Can the flu cause serious illness? 

Flu is a severe illness by itself, and it can cause further complications. This condition can even be life-threatening, and in the case of pregnant women can lead to premature birth. Individuals with long-term illnesses and those sixty-five years of age and over are also at an increased risk of serious complications resulting from flu infection.

Is it a cold or the flu? 

A cold is a considerably milder condition than the flu. Cold is usually a gradual condition that starts with a sore throat and a clogged or runny nose. Flu’s symptoms, on the other hand, appear suddenly. Fever, head and muscle aches and general fatigue are the most common.

Who should NOT get the seasonal flu vaccine? 

Seasonal flu vaccines should not be administered to:

Individuals with a record of a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a prior dose of the vaccine or any of its components.

What about people with egg allergy? 

People with egg allergy can be given the seasonal flu vaccine. This may be administered by your General Practitioner or a hospital specialist.

When should vaccination be postponed? 

Vaccination should be postponed or rescheduled if you have an acute illness and or a temperature higher than 38°C.

Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?

The seasonal flu vaccine cannot give you the flu since it does not actually contain any live virus.

How long does it take for the vaccine to work? 

The flu vaccine starts to take action within two weeks of the administration.

What can I expect after vaccination? 

In case of getting any of the most typical side effects, those will be mild and can include general soreness, swelling or redness around where the injection was given, fever, headache. Other aches and tiredness may also occur. Other symptoms may include mild sweating and shivers as their immune system is responding to the new vaccine in the system. In any case, none of these symptoms after the vaccine are flu and will be temporary (about a day or so).

What if I don’t feel well after vaccination? 

In case of getting temperature after the vaccine, you should take paracetamol.

Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen (unless it is advised by your doctor). Keep alert for any side effects after getting the flu vaccine. If possible and needed, seek medical advice.

How do I get vaccinated? 

Flu vaccination is accessible to you from your GP or your closest Pharmacist.

You can make an appointment by Email: info@beechviewmd.ie

Telephone: (01) 598 9412, or Mobile: 087 989 8670. Protect yourself and your baby from the seasonal flu.

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