Do you get the flu vaccine or does it bring nothing? Here are 6 facts 2

Do you get the flu vaccine or does it bring nothing? Here are 6 facts

The flu epidemic will also hit Switzerland in the 2019/20 season. image: shutterstock

Do you get the flu vaccine or does it bring nothing? Here are 6 facts

Flu will plague some of us again this year. Today, there is a chance that he will be vaccinated. But does it really help? And who belongs to the risk group?

Today is National Flu Day. For the (recommended) 30 francs, you can get vaccinated in a variety of medical procedures and flu pharmacies. For the 16th time, an action day has taken place.

Protection is about 80 percent after vaccination. But how much the vaccine actually prevents the flu is almost impossible to prove in numbers. Mark Witschi, Head of Recommendations and Vaccine Control Measures at the Federal Institute of Public Health (FOPH), says: "For example, it is unknown whether vaccines were exposed to the same as unvaccinated. There are other factors such as the virulence (persistence, infectivity) of the virus in circulation. "

Flu or cold? It is explained here

But Witschi says: "With an efficiency of up to 80% it can be clearly assumed that there would be more cases than no one being vaccinated."

That's how the flu has been going on since 2000

Designed in 2018/19 season. About 2 percent of the Swiss population (about 170,000) consulted a doctor about the flu. A value that is quite large in the long term average. It is normal for about 111,000 to 333,000 residents to seek a specialist because of flu-like symptoms.

Up and down rests are unpredictable. Also, in retrospect, they are not always clear because they play different factors – including which age group is most affected. If many young children have flu-like symptoms, parents will go to the doctor or doctor faster. In contrast, young adults wait longer to actually see a doctor if they suspect the flu.

Witschi and his colleagues speculate about the fluctuations: "In 2005, for example, the predominant type of virus in Switzerland was new, that is, very different from previous viruses. The population of Switzerland was not prepared or partially immune to this, which is possible. if the virus has not changed significantly from the previous year. "

Why a year later the flu was statistically significantly weaker is not clear. The opposite is possible: the prevailing virus was perhaps too similar to those of previous seasons. "The same applies to the fluctuations from 2013 to 2015. This cannot be either predicted or explained afterwards," Witschi says.

Explain clearly, however, with a retrospective of the epidemics of 2009 and 2010. It is the H1N1 virus (swine flu). The early rise of summer 2010 is also linked to a pandemic.

When's it going?

Flu season usually runs from week 40 (2019: September 30) to week 16 (2020: April 19). The flow and highlight are rarely the same. This is partly because of the nature of the flu virus. Sometimes it takes more time for viruses to flare up, sometimes it just happens in one go. On the other hand, it is defined when talking about the flu epidemic: In 69 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants.

The following chart shows: Although the "late" season started in 2015/16. And in 2018/19, in the intervening years, the end of December really started. As the season goes on, it cannot be estimated in advance.

Between: You definitely have one of these sick types in the office

Video: watson / Knackeboul, Madeleine Sigrist, Lya Saxer

Who is that?

Children between the ages of 0 and 4 are most often examined by a doctor for illnesses such as the flu. However, they also go to a doctor or doctor much faster than adults would, for example.

Although the exact development changes slightly each year, the basic pattern remains the same for the annual distribution of weekly consultations per 100,000 inhabitants. Here's an example of the 2018/19 season:

Number of doses since 1996

It is no coincidence that more and more vaccine doses are produced every year, on the contrary: the peak so far has been reached in 2006. Witschi says, "We have not yet been able to properly sensitize the population. It is probably related to the fact that you have to vaccinate every year – you can still have the flu or the like. It scares many."

Source: BAG survey among four influenza vaccine manufacturers in Switzerland; August 19, 2019

Do I need to get vaccinated?

We come to the key question: Do I need to get vaccinated? The best way to do this is by checking the flu vaccination of the Federal Office of Public Health. You will get a recommendation there.

Basically, the body is better protected after vaccination. It also limits the transmission of the virus to other people. The vaccine is not protected for that reason alone. "I've never gotten the flu" is not a good argument against the flu.

The Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) recommends vaccination specifically for:

  • expectant mother
  • Women who have given birth in the last four weeks
  • Infants 6 months of age with an increased risk of complications
  • Premature babies from 6 months of the first two winters after birth
  • People over 65
  • People with heart or lungs or other chronic illnesses
  • Staff nurses

Flu cannot always be completely prevented, but prevention often helps. Image: shutterstock.com

What can I do next to the vaccine?

Vaccination is the most effective but not the only way to prevent flu. The best prevention is:

  • Wash your hands (several times a day)
  • Cough or sneeze in tissue or thief
  • Stay home with flu symptoms
  • Be in physical condition
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Infected people should be avoided as much as possible

In addition, vitamin D deficiency appears to be associated with an increased risk of influenza. If necessary, the deficiency can be compensated by the addition of vitamins.

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Today, November 9, is National Flu Day. Those vaccinated on this day benefit from the recommended 30 franc flat rate. Those interested can use the offer spontaneously at one of the medical offices or pharmacies participating in the campaign.

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