Although the decision to be vaccinated is personal, the benefits are wide-reaching to everyone around you. Indeed, beyond your own protection, vaccines also protect your parents, children, relatives, co-workers and all others who are either too young or too sick to receive vaccines, or for whom vaccines have not been effective.
If vaccination is so beneficial, why are some people still so hesitant to get vaccinated? Many fear adverse effects from the vaccine, but is this truly justified?
In fact, it is possible to experience some adverse effects after a vaccine, but these are usually mild and brief. In most cases, the effects persist for less than 48 hours and are localized reactions such as pain or swelling at the injection site. More rarely, fever and nausea have been reported.
Some people worry that the influenza vaccine will cause them infection. In fact, the flu vaccine contains fragments of inactivated or attenuated virus to stimulate the immune system of the person who receives it. Vaccination is safe and cannot transmit the disease. In Canada and at the World Health Organization (WHO), there are several surveillance programs related to immunization. These programs ensure, among other things, the quality and safety of the vaccines provided.
Influenza viruses are constantly changing, which is why a new vaccine must be developed every year. It is therefore possible to contract the flu despite the fact that you have been vaccinated, since the strains contained in the vaccine may be different than those in circulation. Lastly, it should be noted that the flu vaccine does not protect against colds or respiratory infections caused by bacteria.
Vaccination against influenza is a safe way to prevent the flu. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks of discomfort related to the vaccine.
To learn more about vaccination, consult with your pharmacist. In addition, there is a PSST! Guide on the subject, so feel free to ask your pharmacist for it.