Every autumn it happens again: the start of flu season. Because there are different types of flu viruses and these viruses are constantly adapting, you can become ill over and over again. Unfortunately, getting the flu once does not provide lifelong immunity. However, there are other ways to protect yourself against the flu, including the flu vaccination that is developed every year against the viruses that are most prevalent at that time. You can get this flu vaccination at several places including your GP (general practitioner) and vaccinatiecentrum.nl.
Why vaccinate against the flu?
First of all, the flu is not the same as a cold. The flu is a lot more serious. The symptoms can last for 1-3 weeks and for people in specific risk groups, it can have serious consequences; every year, some 4,700 people die from the flu. This is why a yearly study is carried out on which flu viruses are expected to circulate. Based on this study, a vaccine is formulated. With this vaccine, you have a smaller chance of catching the flu and, should you still get the flu, you will get less sick.
Who is the flu vaccination for?
A large group of people already receive an invitation for the flu vaccine from their doctor every year. This includes all people aged 60 and over, as well as women who are more than 22 weeks pregnant, people with a BMI over 40 and people who are at increased risk of a severe course of flu due to lung disease, diabetes or another condition. When you receive an invitation for the flu vaccine from your doctor, there is no cost involved.
However, you can also get the flu vaccine if you are not in a high-risk group. Healthcare workers, for example, can get the flu vaccine so that they are less likely to infect patients with the flu. Often, healthcare employers reimburse the flu vaccine for their staff. If this is not the case or if, as a healthcare employee, you go to the GP for the flu vaccination on your own initiative, it is at your own expense.
If you do not work in healthcare or do not fall in one of the risk groups, you can also arrange the flu vaccination yourself. You can do this through your GP or at vaccinatiecentrum.nl. Some supplementary health insurance policies offer reimbursement for the flu vaccination, the basic insurance does not.
Benefits of the flu vaccination
Those who fall into the risk groups are invited for the flu vaccination to better protect themselves. Even if you fall outside the risk groups, the flu vaccination can have many benefits. After all, you not only protect yourself with it, but also others. When you reduce the chance of getting the flu yourself, the chance of infecting someone else is also reduced. Earlier, healthcare workers were named as a special group that could get the vaccine for that reason. However, this applies to anyone who comes into frequent contact with potentially vulnerable people. For example, are you a caregiver? Then you might consider getting the flu vaccination to protect your loved ones.
Even when you are at low risk of complications, getting the flu is unpleasant. You will be out of the running for at least a week, but it can also last three weeks. To avoid illness, it may be worth considering getting vaccinated against the flu.
Where and when do you get the flu vaccination?
The flu season traditionally starts in December. Since it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take full effect, you can get the flu vaccine starting in October. This will protect you for one flu season. If you want long-term protection, you will have to get the flu vaccination every year.
If you fall into one of the groups that are offered a free flu vaccination you will be invited for this by your GP or institution doctor. Do you choose to get vaccinated on your own initiative? Then you can get the flu vaccination from vaccinatiecentrum.nl. We offer a quadrivalent vaccine, which offers protection against the four flu viruses that are expected to be the most pathogenic at that moment.
Would you like to know more about the flu vaccination or schedule an appointment right away? Then feel free to contact us.