Avoid the Flu this Winter – Get Vaccinated!

17 May

flu vaccinationIt’s that time of year when we salvage our heaters from storage and abandon our flip-flops for toe socks. Winter is fast approaching and along with it those ghastly snot bugs, ferocious fevers and headaches from hell; all thanks to common colds and flu!

Although often confused with the common cold, flu is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus, and it can be deadly! Every year up to 10% of adults and 30% of children catch the flu. It’s highly contagious and spreads through coughing, sneezing, and hand-to-hand contact; infecting the nose, throat, sinuses, upper airways and lungs. Although some cases of the flu can be very mild, it can prove to be fatal for babies, toddlers, the elderly and people with underlying health issues. Not something to be ignored!

Children are especially prone to picking up viruses because their little bodies have not developed the kind of immunities that adults have. Children in crèche and school under the age of 12 are the most likely to get flu. And when they catch it, they bring it straight back home to their families…every mom’s nightmare! Closed communities, such as homes for the elderly, university campuses and military bases, are also prone to outbreaks that run their course over a few weeks.

You’ve heard it before: Prevention Is Better Than Cure.

So how can you protect your family against flu and the common cold this winter? The easiest and most effective way is for your entire family to receive a flu vaccine (yes moms and dads, you too!). Making a quick visit to your local pharmacy, hospital, clinic or GP could be the smartest thing you do this year. And every year for that matter! Even for the healthiest person. Why? Because the flu virus strains are constantly changing. Each year, before flu season, the most recent circulating viruses are identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and are included in a new vaccine formula that offers the best protection. And with the onset of the Swine Flu in the last few years, you’ll be glad to know that the flu vaccine will protect you against that ghastly H1N1 virus!

If you’re worried about scary side effects, don’t be! Flu vaccines are safe and generally well tolerated. The vaccine will not give you the flu. The vaccine is made up of small inactive, non-infectious particles of the season’s flu virus, which merely alert the body to the threat of the virus. In that way, your body makes antibodies and builds up its own immunity against the circulating flu viruses. The most common reaction to the vaccine is just a mild soreness at the site of the injection.

Did you know that people considered to be in high-risk groups can get their flu vaccinations for free from government clinics or hospitals? Now you do!

The high-risk groups include:

  • Pregnant women (past their first trimester)
  • People over 65 years of age;
  • People with chronic heart disease, diabetes or chronic lung disease, especially asthmatics
  • People living with HIV/Aids or other reduced immune system related conditions

PLEASE NOTE there are people who should NOT have the flu vaccine, which includes:

  • Babies under the age of 6 months
  • Women in their first trimester of pregnancy
  • People who are allergic to eggs, because the vaccine is grown in hens’ eggs.

So what are you waiting for? Avoid the headache of having headaches, bins full of snotty tissues and fuzzy days out of action. Do the smart thing and visit your local pharmacy, hospital, clinic or GP today! Prevention really is better than cure!!

You can get your flu vaccine at Baby Guardian Vaccination Clinic.

Contact Sr. Andrea to book an appointment.

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