Protect yourself with the flu vaccine


by Susanne Gerhard

(6/11/2019) Experts from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommend thinking about the flu vaccine by November at the latest.

First of all, at-risk patients should protect themselves from the flu in a timely manner. The vaccine does not cause the disease to break down at best, but at least it takes a much milder course. IPF reminds: The vaccine must be replenished with every flu.

Vaccination is not only possible for at-risk patients
Flu viruses change over and over again through small, random mutations. Accordingly, the vaccine must be adjusted for each flu season. RKI statistics show that the influenza epidemic began in recent years mainly at the turn of the year and lasted until the end of March. It takes about 10 to 14 days for protection to build up after vaccination. With a November vaccination date, there is usually enough time left to arm the immune system against the pathogen. The STIKO Permanent Vaccination Commission recommends influenza vaccination to anyone over the age of 60, pregnant women, the chronically ill, residents of retirement homes or nursing homes, as well as medical staff and anyone living with individuals at risk in the same household. In the case of medical needs, healthcare providers also pay for vaccination costs in other cases. Some health insurance companies, in principle, pay for their insured vaccines.

Around the world, laboratory tests provide a vaccine
To achieve the widest possible protective effect, legally insured patients are also entitled to fourfold flu protection, for the first time in the upcoming flu season. The vaccine contains antigens against the four components of the viral variant expected for next season. What are the results of influenza virus analysis in reference laboratories worldwide? In Germany, the National Influenza Reference Center at the Robert Koch Institute is responsible. The data goes to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is developing a vaccine composition based on it.

Further information can be found in the IPF leaflet "Impfschutz". You can download and order them for free at Other ordering options: PO Box 12 44, 63552 Gelnhausen. Make sure you include the title, name and full address.