Should I be vaccinated?

YOURLifeChoices subscriber, Helen, is considering having the flu vaccine this year but is not sure if it’s really necessary? With over 2,500 Australians dying each year from complications caused by flu, understanding your risk factor could save your life.

Q. Helen
For the last five years I have had the influenza vaccination as I suffer from asthma. Do I need to get it again this year? I have so far put it off as I’m not too keen on needles and haven’t suffered from the flu in years but still get a horrible colds every winter and I’m sure this is a result of the vaccination.

A.
Helen, the fact that you haven’t suffered from the flu in years could be attributed to having the vaccination. Even though you suffer colds, actually catching the flu could be detrimental to your health and the management of your asthma. To be effective, the vaccination must be given annually and ideally, you should have it in Autumn before winter starts, this gives your own immune system time to build up the necessary antibodies.

As there is no live virus in the flu vaccination it is unlikely that this is what is causing your colds each year. It is more likely that your colds are a result of the germs which are floating around in winter. Indeed, they may develop into something worse if you do not have the vaccination.

Remember, those over 65 years of age are entitled to the flu vaccination free of charge.

To find out more about the flu, if you’re at risk and how you can get the vaccination, click YOURLifeChoices simple short cut.

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