Influenza vaccine; everything you need to know

Prevention is better than treatment
First, before talking about influenza and its vaccine, it's important to note that there are very simple ways to prevent the spread of influenza and other infectious diseases, which can be used to prevent many infectious diseases. do.

One of the most effective ways to wash your hands regularly during the day, in the fall and winter season, can be to prevent the spread of colds and flu. The use of medical gloves in crowded and mostly polluted environments (buses, subways, classrooms, when visiting hospitals and other health care settings, etc.) can greatly prevent the onset of these diseases.

Influenza is more dangerous than cold
Influenza is a respiratory contagious disease that is caused by a variety of viruses. These viruses are mainly from Orthomyxoviridae families, although there are differences in their similarities, so it is important to remember that the cause of influenza is not just a specific virus, but it is caused by various viruses. , And the number of these viruses is also increasing every year. The reason for this is to look at how the virus is replicated (in general, all viruses).

The hereditary material in cells is DNA or RNA. DNA has a phase in its process of propagation, in which a modifier moves on the DNA strand and fixes the deficiencies. There is no such step in the RNA replication process, so the RNA stays with the defects created and reproduced in the same way, this is the same mutation phenomenon, and the result is: the creation of a new virus.

The hereditary substance of the virus is also RNA. And that's why we face new influenza-producing viruses each year, which is certainly not the way to treat old medications for new strains.

Influenza virus infects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. In general, influenza is more dangerous than colds and can cause chronic diseases, such as sinus infection, ear infections, pneumonia (pneumonia), asthma, heart problems, and inflammation in the brain and heart.

Influenza symptoms:
Sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose
body pain
Feeling chill
Feeling tired in the body
Sometimes diarrhea or vomiting
Who is the worst influenza?
In general, influenza can develop more severely in physically weaker groups. Who includes these groups?

People over 65 years old
pregnant women
People with poor immune systems (such as infants, people with certain diseases, such as MS, those who have had organ transplantation).
People under special health conditions (heart and respiratory disease)
What is a flu vaccine?
Influenza vaccine is available in both injectable and inhalable form. The injectable type contains an influenza virus that people are allowed to inject after 6 months of age (in consultation with the doctor).

The type of inhalable spray available in the form of a spray is a weakened influenza virus, and people who are between 2 and 49 years of age (in consultation with the doctor) are able to inject it.

Both types of vaccines have side effects that can vary in different individuals, with different physical and health conditions. But in general, its side effects are:

Mild fever
Feeling pain in the muscles for several days (injections)
Feeling pain or burning at the injection site (injectable)
Eczema or runny nose (inhaler)
Headache (inhaler)
Feeling tired (inhaler)
Who can get the flu vaccine?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with the following conditions are in the first place to receive an influenza vaccine:

People who are undergoing dialysis.
People who have kidney or liver transplantation.
People with Thalassemia Major
People with liver disease
People with cancer who undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy (radiotherapy)
Healthcare personnel
Does the influenza vaccine act immediately after the injection?
No, the influenza vaccine protects the body against influenza viruses two weeks after the injection, creating an antibody against the influenza viruses, and its effect lasts from 6 to 12 months, so the susceptible people (people in one of the groups described above) ) Need to get this vaccine every year.

Time to Influenza a Vaccine
In Iran, the outbreak of influenza viruses occurs between October and May. The best time to get this vaccine is October and November. But if you miss this opportunity, you can inject the vaccine in the remaining months from the year to March.

Important Notes on the Vaccine of Influenza
Before you have an influenza vaccine, be sure to consult with your doctor. Many people may be allergic to this vaccine, for example, people who are allergic to eggs can not get an influenza vaccine. Because there are similar compounds with eggs in the influenza vaccine. Therefore, avoid the risk of severe reactions after injection of this vaccine in consultation with your doctor and possible tests.

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Sara Khani

Sara Khani

کارشناس میکروبیولوژی

Microbiology expert