KEY FACTS ABOUT SEASONAL FLU VACCINE

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The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. 1

STOP FLU. VACCINATE.

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Can I get seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year? 1

Yes. There is still a possibility you could get the flu even if you got vaccinated. The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on various factors, including the age and health status of the person being vaccinated, and also the similarity or “match” between the viruses used to make the vaccine and those circulating in the community.

Reference: 1. Centers for disease control and prevention. CDC. Available from www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Accessed on 14 November 2016

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Who should get vaccinated this season? 1

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza.

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When should I get vaccinated? 1

Flu vaccination should begin soon after the vaccine becomes available. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body, these antibodies protect against influenza virus infection. It is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.

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Why should you get vaccinated against the flu? 1

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances of getting seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

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STOP FLU. VACCINATE.

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Where can I get a flu vaccine? 1

The flu vaccine is offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.

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Why do I need a flu vaccine every year? 1

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

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How do flu vaccines work? 1

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from inactivated influenza strains that are in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (called “trivalent” vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus.

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Does flu vaccine work right away? 1

No, it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in Autumn, before the flu season really gets under way.

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