Time to vaccinate against flu

2016-05-04 06:00

WINTER is around the corner and that means so is the influenza season.

People usually develop influenza suddenly. Symptoms include fever, cough, headaches, runny or blocked nose, body aches or tiredness.

ER24 is urging people to have the influenza vaccine at a pharmacy or healthcare centre­ in preparation for the flu season.While the season has not yet begun, it is recommended that people receive the influenza vaccine as soon as it becomes available to ensure they are protected. It takes about two weeks for protective antibodies to develop after receiving the vaccination.

Although everyone should ideally get the vaccine, the following higher risk groups should be prioritised:

• Children between the ages of six months and five years.

• Adults and children who come into contact with those who are high-risk. People over the age of 65.

• Adults and children who receive medical care for or who have conditions such as diabetes, chronic pulmonary and cardiac disease and chronic renal diseases.

• Pregnant women, irrespective of the stage of pregnancy. Women who are still within their two weeks after delivery should also have the vaccination.

• Health-care workers due to the nature of their work.

- Chitra Bodasing, ER24 spokesperson.

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