Are You at High Risk for Influenza?
The best way to protect
yourself is to get vaccinated every year.
The ‘flu shot', an inactivated vaccine (containing
dead viruses), is given to protect you against
influenza, an epidemic disease that causes
widespread illness every year. Vaccination is
recommended as the virus is highly contagious and
The most effective way to prevent influenza is by
getting the flu shot. The influenza vaccine can
prevent 70-90% of influenza-specific illnesses among
healthy adults, while reducing complications and
fatalities among the elderly by 60-80%.
At high risk
everyone should get the flu vaccine, it is
especially important for certain groups of people
because they are at higher risk of developing
serious flu-related complications such as pneumonia.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends
annual vaccination for the following priority
● Elderly individuals aged 65 and older.
● Residents and caregivers in nursing homes or other
● Individuals with medical conditions like chronic
heart, lung, kidney, liver or metabolic diseases,
severe asthma, and those with compromised immune
● Pregnant women.
● Hospital patients and staff and other healthcare
● Children aged six months to two years.
Individuals with the following circumstances would
also do well to get the flu shot:
● People who are travelling.
● People living or working in close contact with
those who are at high risk of contracting influenza.
● Home caregivers of children too young to be
vaccinated (infants younger than 6 months).
A safe vaccine
Serious side-effects or allergic reactions to the
vaccine are rare. However, minor side-effects may
occur, which begin soon after the shot is
administered and usually last for one or two days.
● Soreness, redness or swelling where the injection
● Low-grade fever.
● Muscle ache.
● Drowsiness or fatigue.
If you are concerned about your reaction or your
loved one's reaction to the vaccine, see your doctor