IS INFLUENZA JUST LIKE A HEAVY COLD?
A bad bout of influenza is much worse than a heavy cold. Influenza symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. They include chills, headaches and aching muscles. You’re likely to spend 2 or 3 days in bed and could end up in hospital.
DOES THE INFLUENZA VACCINE GIVE YOU FLU?
No, it doesn’t. The injected influenza vaccine contains inactivated virus so it cannot give you the flu. Your arm may feel a bit sore but other reactions are rare. You might have a reduction in your immune response for a few days but it does not give you influenza.
CAN INFLUENZA BE TREATED WITH ANTIBIOTICS?
No it can’t because influenza is caused by viruses. Antivirals may be prescribed but they do not cure influenza.
IS THE INFLUENZA VACCINE FOR LIFE?
No, it’s not. The viruses that cause influenza change each year so you need a new vaccine each year which will match the new circulating strain.
SHOULD PREGNANT WOMEN NOT GET THE FLU JAB?
Pregnant women can get vaccinated no matter what stage of pregnancy they are at. The jab can also protect the newborn during the early months of their life.
DOES THE INFLUENZA VACCINE PROTECT AGAISNT SWINE FLU?
Yes it does. It protects against a range of seasonal influenza types.
CAN CHILDREN HAVE THE INFLUENZA VACCINE?
Yes that can. It is usually given as a nasal spray to all children.