Flu Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Flu Vaccine Side Effects

1. What is influenza?

  • Influenza (or ‘the flu’) is caused by three types of influenza virus – A, B and C that infect the respiratory system.
  • Influenza is contagious and is spread by coughing, sneezing and direct contact with an infected person, or by touching a contaminated surface.

2. Can the vaccine give me the flu?

  • No. You cannot get the flu from the vaccine, as it does not contain any live viruses.
  • However, some people may experience mild side effects such as muscle aches, headaches or a sore throat for a short time after vaccination. This is a normal reaction.
  • These flu vaccine side effects usually diminish within one or two days and do not result in the flu.

3. I’m healthy – why do I need a flu vaccine every year?

There are a number of reasons why it is recommended to get the flu vaccine every year:

  • Although people with underlying health conditions are most at risk from influenza associated complications, anyone among the general population can become seriously ill with the flu and even die.
  • Healthy individuals who contract flu can easily pass the virus on to those whose health is compromised, such as elderly relatives.
  • Each year the flu can be caused by different flu viruses, that are not included in the previous year’s vaccine.
  • Protection from the flu vaccine decreases over time.
  • Influenza continues to be a major threat to public health worldwide because of its ability to spread rapidly through populations.

4. How effective is the vaccine for healthy adults?

  • The flu vaccine is approximately 73% effective in preventing infection with influenza A and B viruses in healthy adults under 65 years of age, when there is a good match between the vaccine and circulating influenza strains.

5. How long after vaccination does it take to start providing protection?

  • It takes up to two weeks for the vaccine to give full protection.

6. How long does the immunisation (vaccine protection) last?

  • Protection should last throughout the flu season, approximately 9 months.

7. Can’t I build up a natural immunity to influenza?

  • Immunity develops after you have been exposed to a particular strain of the virus through infection or immunisation.
  • Flu immunisation prepares and boosts your immune system to help you fight the flu viruses expected to be circulating each year.

8. Does the vaccination contain thiomersal or mercury?

  • No. It does not contain thiomersal (or any other mercury product).

Working Health can help with all your Workplace Flu Vaccines.

With the influenza season just around the corner, we’re currently taking Auckland-wide bookings for on-site workplace flu vaccines.

Call us on 0800 430 209 for a no obligation quote today.

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Posted in Flu Vaccines.