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Still thinking whether to get that influenza vaccination jab? Hesitate no more and go for it! Here are 10 things you didn’t know about flu and the influenza vaccination!
1. No, you won’t get influenza from the vaccination!
The influenza vaccine contains inactivated virus. And dead viruses can’t make you sick. But they do stimulate your immune system to make antibodies that would protect you from the influenza viruses that you have been vaccinated against.
2. The influenza virus is hardier than you think.
It can live for up to a day on hard surfaces. Now will you clean your hands before you eat or touch any part of your face?
3. You could be carrying influenza virus and not know it.
According to studies, as many as 3 out of 10 people carrying the virus have no symptoms of influenza. This means you could be spreading the bug to others – like your patients, children and elderly parents - without knowing it.
4. Pregnant? You can and should receive the influenza vaccination!
Not only is it safe for pregnant women to get the vaccine, it is essential. Because pregnant women have a higher risk of developing complications from influenza.
5. Allergic to eggs? It’s safe for you to receive the influenza vaccination!
Most influenza vaccines contain a small amount of egg proteins because the viruses used to make the vaccines have been incubated in eggs. However, severe reactions in people with egg allergies are rare. A recent CDC study found that only 1 in a million gets a life-threatening allergic reaction.
6. You are more likely to develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) from influenza than the vaccine.
Because GBS is 17 - 70 times more common following influenza than it is after getting the vaccine. In fact, it is rare to develop GBS from the vaccine. Only 1 or 2 in a million vaccinated develop this rare neurological disorder.
7. The influenza virus can take the plane, boat, car, bicycle….too
The influenza virus can travel, and air travel especially, speeds up the spread of diseases - including influenza. Remember how SARS was in Hong Kong one day and in Singapore within 4 hours? Get vaccinated before you travel. Then you won't bring the bug back to Singapore and infect your patients and family.
8. You need an influenza vaccination every year because the virus mutates more quickly and often than Mystique.
The influenza virus mutates frequently. So this year's dominant circulating viruses would be different from last year's. So the vaccination you received last year would not protect you from the current influenza. That's why CDC recommends an annual vaccination every year.
9. The vaccine is the best way to keep yourself and others Flu Safe.
The more people get vaccinated, the less influenza can spread among a community. CDC estimates that the risk of influenza in the overall population can be reduced by as much as 60 per cent. This protects those who cannot be vaccinated and don't have immunity such as babies younger than 6 months.
10. If you think that influenza is no big deal. Think again
WHO estimates that influenza kills as many as half a million people worldwide every year. The 1918 influenza pandemic, our worst so far, killed about 50 million people worldwide. Nobody knows when the next big influenza will hit us so it’s important to get that vaccination TODAY!
Here are the details to get your flu vaccination. It takes just less than 10 mins!
FY2018 Influenza Vaccination Exercise
Now on till 30 Jun 2018
CTRC (next to Learning Space), SGH Blk 6, Level 1
Weekdays: 7.30am to 5pm
Saturdays: 7.30am to 12pm
Note: The links below open in Infopedia
Download Registration Form here
Read FAQs here
Bring your NRIC, staff pass, name tag and completed registration form.
Still not sure? Here’s what your fellow colleagues have to say!
Original article adapted from Lighter Notes. Special thanks to SGH’s Occupational & Environmental Medicine (OEM) Unit for the interesting facts on flu and influenza vaccination!