Influenza vaccination FAQ 2022/2023
- Why should I get an influenza vaccination?
- Who should get vaccinated?
- I haven't had influenza in a couple of years. Should I still get vaccinated?
- Does the influenza vaccination help at all? How effective is the influenza vaccination?
- When should you get the influenza vaccination?
- Where can I get the influenza vaccination in Switzerland?
- How much does the influenza vaccination cost at the pharmacy?
- How does the influenza vaccination work?
- What are the side effects of the influenza vaccination?
- Why do you have to get an influenza vaccination every year?
- I have a temperature. Can I get vaccinated?
- Who should not get vaccinated?
- Influenza vaccination pros and cons?
Why should I get an influenza vaccination?
- You are protecting yourself.
- You protect your family and generally sensitive people in our society.
- You ensure along with a good immune system that you do not get sick.
- Life is simply more fun when you are not sick.
Who should get vaccinated?
Basically, everyone who belongs to a risk group should be vaccinated. These include:
- People over 65
- People with chronic diseases
- Pregnant women
Persons who have contact with the risk groups should also be vaccinated. This will protect these groups. With the influenza vaccination check of FOPH you can test whether you belong to a risk group.
In principle, anyone who has little desire to get influenza can get vaccinated. A guide to the question of whether you should be vaccinated can be found at influenza vaccination pros and cons.
Who should not get vaccinated?
Infants under 6 months of age and persons with allergies to vaccine components or chicken egg proteins should not be vaccinated. One exception is the vaccine Optaflu. This can be used by people with chicken egg allergies.
I haven't had influenza in a couple of years. Should I still get vaccinated?
This depends on whether you belong to a risk group (see above) or not. You probably don't need the vaccination. Still, consider whether your circumstances have changed. If not much has changed, then vaccination is not required. To be on the safe side, you can also do the influenza vaccination check of FOPH.
The Corona virus has also changed the situation. It is likely that the cases will increase again in autumn and winter. In order not to overburden the health care system additionally, it is even more advisable to get the influenza vaccination.
Does the influenza vaccination help at all? How effective is the influenza vaccination?
The influenza vaccination helps. Your immune system can produce antibodies against the influenza viruses with the influenza vaccination. However, it may be that the influenza viruses have changed differently than expected, in which case the influenza vaccine is somewhat less effective.
According to FOPH, the influenza vaccination reduces the risk of contracting the disease by 70 to 90 percent in younger healthy adults and by 30-50 percent in older people.
Are there alternatives to vaccination?
Yes and no. A good immune system is very helpful and this can be supported. But the best protection is a good immune system along with vaccination.
When should you get the influenza vaccination?
The immune system needs a little time to develop enough defences against the influenza. We therefore recommend vaccinating between mid-October and mid-November. Optimum protection is achieved after two weeks at the latest, which then lasts between four and six months.
Where can I get the influenza vaccination in Switzerland?
In pharmacies with a vaccination permit, at doctors' offices and in hospitals. The easiest place to do this is in pharmacies like ours here in Thalwil. All of the places mentioned are trained and certified to give you the influenza vaccination professionally.
How much does the influenza vaccination cost at the pharmacy?
At our Central Apotheke Thalwil, the costs of the influenza vaccination are CHF 39.20.
How does the influenza vaccination work?
The influenza is caused by viruses that make you sick (and infect as many others with the virus as possible). However, the immune system can be prepared to fight the virus quickly. The vaccine contains inactivated components of the influenza viruses. The immune system processes these and produces defence bodies (antibodies). Now, when an influenza virus enters the body, the immune system can react quickly and destroy the virus.
What are the side effects of the influenza vaccination?
Side effects can occur in very rare cases with the influenza vaccine. However, the likelihood of these side effects is much smaller than that of complications from influenza. Simply put: If you have influenza, you will suffer and have problems many times more than if you had an influenza vaccination.
- 10 to 40 percent of those vaccinated show redness or mild pain at the injection site.
- 5 to 10 percent of those vaccinated show elevated temperature, muscle aches or mild malaise.
- Very rarely, allergic reactions (rashes, oedema, difficulty breathing) may occur.
- Very rarely, an allergic immediate reaction (anaphylactic shock) may occur.
- For every 1 million vaccinations, autoimmune Guillain-Barré syndrome can be observed in a temporal context. However, this occurs much more frequently with influenza.
Why do you have to get an influenza vaccination every year?
Unfortunately, influenza viruses change from season to season. There are always mutations. Therefore, last season's influenza vaccine is no longer helping.
I have a temperature. Can I get vaccinated?
We recommend postponing the vaccination. Fever means that your body is already under attack. Give it time to get better and then protect yourself with the vaccination.
Who should not get vaccinated?
Infants under 6 months of age and persons with allergies to vaccine components or chicken egg proteins. One exception is the vaccine Optaflu®. This can be used by people with chicken egg allergies. Therefore, it is important to mention this to your pharmacist or doctor.
Influenza vaccination pros and cons?
For this question we have written a detailed text. You can find it here: Influenza vaccination pros and cons
This text was last updated on 23rd September 2021. Quality assured by Carmelina Pacifico, federally certified Pharmacist ETH.