Influenza vaccination pros and cons

  • Anyone considering the influenza vaccination should be concerned with efficacy/consequences, costs, and side effects.
  • For risk groups, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages.
  • For non-risk groups, consideration is recommended: The risk of contracting influenza is massively reduced.
  • The side effects are extremely minor and not significant.

«Influenza vaccination yes or no?» - Various factors play a role in the decision for or against an influenza vaccination. With this article, we will give you some help in deciding and show you what to look out for.

When thinking about the influenza vaccination, it is easiest to think from the following three topics:

  1. Effectiveness/consequences
  2. Costs
  3. Side effects

For risk groups (including people over 65 years, people with chronic diseases, pregnant women), the effectiveness is the most important point. Even though the influenza vaccination doesn't always provide the same level of protection, it does increase protection against influenza. This way you protect yourself and your environment. An influenza vaccination costs about CHF 40. However, because you are in a high-risk group, you are more likely to catch influenza. The costs caused by influenza are always many times higher than those of the vaccination. Just think for a moment how much you would pay for a day when you weren't in bed with a fever and aches and pains. You can safely accept the side effects from our point of view, because influenza itself massively exceeds the consequences of the side effects.

Non-risk groups should weigh the issues carefully: If you can live with influenza, you don't necessarily need to get vaccinated. If you want to increase the likelihood of not getting sick, vaccination is recommended. It is helpful to think in terms of models: 

Possible events with vaccination

  1. The vaccination helps and protects you from influenza.
  2. You get vaccinated, but wouldn't have gotten influenza even if you hadn't been vaccinated.
  3. The vaccination doesn't help, but you're lucky and don't get influenza.
  4. The vaccine doesn't work and you get influenza. (probability: 0.5% – 6%)

Possible events without vaccination:

  1. Influenza won't hit you.
  2. Influenza hits you (probability: 5% – 20%).

For those who want to further assess the benefits of vaccination, the likelihood of getting influenza can be calculated. Depending on the wave, this is between 5% and 20% (the figures vary from year to year). The probability of the vaccination being effective is between 70% and 90% for most people.

  • Probability of getting influenza without vaccination: 5% – 20%
  • Probability of getting the influenza with vaccination: 0.5% – 6%

So the risk of getting influenza is significantly reduced.

This text was last updated on 23rd September 2021. Quality assured by Carmelina Pacifico, federally certified Pharmacist ETH.



Further information & offers from Central Apotheke Thalwil on the subject of influenza vaccinations

Influenza FAQ

In our Influenza FAQ (frequently asked questions about influenza) you will find all the important information about influenza 2023/2024.
Influenza FAQ

Influenza Info

If you don't want to get influenza (in the future), you can subscribe to our Influenza Info Service. We will inform you in time about the influenza vaccination and how you can optimise your immune system.

Register now




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