What is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine consists of preparing the organism for the generation of antibodies that protect against virus infection, which are introduced through the vaccine.
It should be remembered that the flu is a respiratory infection caused by the effect of various viruses. Most of the population gets over the flu without the need for treatment, but sometimes it can become complicated. Influenza can cause major symptomatological conditions or even death. Vaccination against the flu is a good way to minimize risks against the virus and the possibility of infecting other people.
The specialist will be able to inform the patient of the different types of vaccines that exist, and there are also some specific vaccines for people over 65 years of age.
The main reason for getting vaccinated against the flu is prevention against the possible complications of the virus.
Why is it done?
The main reason for getting vaccinated against the flu is to prevent possible complications from the virus, although there are other reasons as well. It is important for people with kidney disease, diabetes, HIV infection, heart problems or asthma to get vaccinated because they are prone to flu that can lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. Other population groups, such as children and adolescents, may develop a serious pathology called Reye’s syndrome if they regularly take aspirin. Finally, by getting vaccinated, you protect those close to you who could become seriously infected, such as infants, people with serious pathologies and the elderly. The action of getting vaccinated to protect vulnerable people around you is called herd immunity.
What is herd immunity?
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to be generated in the body two weeks after vaccination. The antibodies provide effective protection against infection with the viruses included in this vaccine. This vaccine will protect the patient against seasonal influenza, and are created to offer prevention against three types of viruses:
- Influenza A (H1N1) virus.
- Influenza A virus (H3N2)
- Influenza B virus
There are also other types of flu vaccines for four types of viruses, those listed above plus one more:
- Influenza B virus variant
Preparing for the flu vaccine
There are a number of steps to follow before administering the flu vaccine to the chosen patient. These steps should be followed religiously to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine.
- Wash hands with soap and water or medical alcohol (perform the same step after vaccination).
- Review the vaccines needed by the patient, as well as review the patient’s vaccination history and record.
- Make sure to choose the correct vaccines correctly and once opened, keep them for a short period of time.
- Check the vaccine expiration date, appearance and color of the vaccine.
- Reconstitute the vaccine
- Finally, keep the original vaccine container.
Care after flu vaccination
In the same way as the previous preparation, after injecting the vaccine, the patient should follow a series of recommendations that will avoid some problems.
- Protect the injection site with absorbent cotton and adhesive tape that can be removed minutes later.
- Press for one minute, avoid rubbing, scratching or pressing too hard.
- Dispose of all used materials in a hygienic manner according to the regulations.
- Check the vaccination status of the rest of the family.
- Inform yourself about the next vaccination.
- The patient should remain at least 30 minutes in the waiting room to be observed for any adverse reaction.
- Do not recommend paracetamol to the patient on a daily basis to avoid possible side reactions. Only take when the patient has a fever.