The World Health Organization constantly monitors changes in the virus and issues recommendations on what to focus on in the manufacture of vaccines. And manufacturers adapt drugs based on WHO guidelines.

For example, in 2016–2017, the following are dangerous in the Northern Hemisphere :

  • A / California / 7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus;
  • A / Hong Kong / 4801/2014 (H3N2) -like virus;
  • B / Brisbane / 60/2008-like virus.

It is not always possible to predict the appearance of unusual strains. Then the epidemics become global. This happened with atypical viruses: avian and swine flu.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

It is recommended to vaccinate everyone, but especially:

  • Children (after six months) and the elderly, because the flu is especially dangerous for them.
  • Schoolchildren and students, because they are in contact with a large number of people.
  • Adults who have to work with people: health workers, teachers, vendors, and so on.
  • People with chronic diseases, because the flu in combination with other diseases leads to serious consequences.

WHO recommends that pregnant women be vaccinated because the flu, unlike vaccines, can seriously harm the fetus.

Are vaccinations safe?

Yes, as far as possible. Any drug has contraindications, they depend on the specific vaccine .

The safest ones are split (split vaccines), subunit and whole-virus. They do not contain a live virus, they are injected with a shot.

Live vaccines are produced in the form of a spray, they have more contraindications.

What could be the consequences?

The main danger is an allergic reaction, for example, to chicken protein or other components of the vaccine. If you have ever had problems with vaccinations, either choose vaccines that do not have an allergen, or refuse immunization at all.

Other serious consequences, such as damage to the nervous system, are extremely rare, and flu shots in this sense are the safest.

Increasing the temperature to 37.5 ° C, redness and slight swelling at the injection site is a normal reaction, which indicates the formation of an immune response. This is unpleasant, but such symptoms disappear in a couple of days.

Who should not be vaccinated?

Absolute contraindications to vaccinations are already mentioned allergies and severe immunodeficiencies. Under such conditions, no vaccinations can be done.

Avoid vaccination if you feel unwell or if you have an exacerbation of a chronic disease. Postpone vaccination until recovery or remission.

In any case, before being vaccinated, you or your child must be examined by a doctor who will transfer or prohibit vaccination if there are contraindications.

When to get a flu shot?

It is best to vaccinate until mid-November. After vaccination, immunity to influenza is produced in 2 weeks, so you need to have time to get vaccinated before the epidemic.

But the risk of getting the flu usually lasts until spring, so even in winter it makes sense to get vaccinated.

Where is the best vaccination and which one?

It depends on which vaccine you want to choose. In public clinics, as a rule, there are domestic drugs. In this year it is “Sovigripp”, “Grippol”, “Ultriks” and their variations for children. These are new generation vaccines, safe and effective, but they contain chicken protein, which is not possible for everyone.

In some clinics and private clinics, you can purchase vaccines from other countries that have fewer contraindications. Be sure to check that the medical institution has a license, and specify that the vaccine was released this year: the instructions should state that the strains are updated in accordance with the WHO recommendations.

How to prepare for vaccination?

Special preparation for vaccination is not needed. Vitamins, dietary supplements and antihistamines do not affect the rate of production of immunity. The maximum that can be done is a few days before the vaccination not to visit crowded places, so as not to pick up any viral infection and not to be vaccinated during the incubation period (and not to say later that the whole vaccine is to blame). Also, a couple of days before the procedure, exclude allergens from food and do not try new foods.

I’m against. Can a child be vaccinated without my consent?

No. Before vaccination, the patient must sign an informed voluntary consent to medical intervention. For a child, parents do it.

If you do not want your child to be vaccinated against the flu, and you are afraid that in kindergarten or at school your child may be vaccinated “at the same time with everyone”, do not sign the agreement. Instead, write down the refusal to carry out preventive vaccinations and make sure that he was glued to the medical card. The doctor must tell you about the possible consequences.

Now vaccinations without parental consent are rare, but if this happens, you can file a complaint with the prosecutor’s office.