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Influenza Vaccination

Influenza Vaccination - Symptoms

Influenza Vaccination - How to prevent?

What does the flu vaccination involve?
Only children ≥ six months old are eligible for the vaccine. This involves a single injection into the arm or thigh. However, younger children from six months to nine years old who are getting the vaccine for the first time will need two doses during a single flu season. The vaccine takes approximately two weeks to provide protection. As the flu virus is always changing, a new vaccine is made every six months to protect against strains that are likely to cause disease in the upcoming season. Six-monthly to yearly vaccination is required to provide up-to-date protection.

What are the benefits of flu vaccine?
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. If there is a good match between the vaccine virus and the circulating virus strain, a flu vaccine is 70% to 90% effective in preventing infection. Even when the vaccine doesn’t exactly match these viruses, it may still provide some protection.

Flu vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born.

What are the side effects of flu vaccine?
The side effects of flu vaccine are mild, compared to the disease itself. Soreness and redness at the injection site are most common. Your child may also complain of headache, muscle aches, fever or tiredness. These symptoms usually last for a day or two after the vaccination as it starts to work in the body. Flu vaccine does not cause flu as this is a killed/inactivated vaccine. There may be a tiny risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS-a condition that affects the nerves and presents with weakness in the legs) after the flu vaccine. However, GBS may also be acquired from flu infection. Studies show that a person is more likely to get GBS from a flu infection than a flu vaccination. The flu vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. However, young children who get the flu vaccine along with pneumococcal vaccine, and/or DTaP vaccine at the same time may be slightly more likely to have a seizure (fit) caused by fever.

All vaccines are assessed to be safe by the Health Sciences Authority and millions of people all over the world have received flu vaccines safely for decades.

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The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth