2021 is no ordinary year! What makes things different in the fourth wave of the present coronavirus pandemic? Find answers to frequently asked questions below.
Is it dangerous to have an influenza shot with the surging number of Covid 19 cases?
This year, more than ever, it is crucial to protect ourselves against the flu. The symptoms of influenza mimic those of coronavirus, and can lead to hospitalization, and, in the worst case scenario, even death. Clinically, the flu and corona can be confused. It would be a pity to wind up on a Covid ward because of a vaccine preventable illness. Additionally, it is extremely dangerous to contract both coronavirus and influenza simultaneously.
But don’t immunizations weaken the immune system?
Actually, they strengthen them, in a directed manner.
Can you catch the flu from the flu jab?
The injectable influenza vaccine is an inactivated, “dead” vaccine. It contains no live virus, and cannot cause influenza disease.
So why did I feel like I had the flu after an influenza vaccine in the past?
The vaccine protects against the 3 or 4 strains of influenza virus that are included in the current year’s formulation. It does not prevent other cold weather viral illness.
Is there a contradiction to vaccination if you have been exposed to Covid 19?
The only situation in which an influenza vaccine should be postponed is to wait until isolation (quarantine) is no longer necessary for the individual. This should help prevent transmission of coronavirus to the health care worker administering the shot. Obviously, the usual precautions still apply, like not immunizing those with moderate to severe acute illnesses with or without fever.
What constitutes being high risk for influenza disease?
- People with asthma, liver disease, chronic renal disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, weak immune systems, neurologic disease (like cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal cord injury)
- Being under 2 years or over 65 years of age
- Pregnant women
- Extremely obese people (BMI over 40)
- Children receiving long-term aspirin therapy
So what should I do to be immunized?
Book your vaccination appointment online or call RMC’s reception desk. Be sure to mention any risk factors you may have, and definitely let us know if you are expecting a baby.