Flu Vaccinations available from early April
Can’t I build up a natural immunity to influenza?
Immunity develops after you have been exposed to a particular strain of the influenza virus either through infection or immunisation. Influenza immunisation prepares and boosts your immune system to help you fight the influenza viruses circulating each year. Immunity against one strain of influenza virus will not necessarily protect you against another.
Can the vaccine give me influenza?
No. You cannot get influenza from the vaccine, as it does not contain any live viruses. However, some people will experience mild side effects such as muscle aches or headaches for a short time after immunisation. This is a normal reaction.
Why is it so important that pregnant women get immunised?
Pregnant women are more likely to get severe influenza illness than other people, and it can affect their unborn baby. The influenza vaccine has been proven to have an excellent safety record for both pregnant women and their unborn baby.
The protection from immunisation in pregnancy is also passed on to the unborn baby so they are born with some protection against influenza for the first few months of life. This protection comes naturally from antibodies that you have created as a result of immunisation. The vaccine itself does not directly immunise the baby.
Influenza can be a serious illness
Influenza, commonly called the flu, can be a serious illness that is sometimes fatal. Infection with the influenza virus may lead to a stay in hospital for any age group but particularly if you are elderly or have an ongoing medical condition. Influenza can make an existing medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, a lot worse.Even if you do not end up in hospital, influenza can keep you in bed for a week or more, preventing you from doing work, sport or just about anything that requires leaving the house.