Unlike a cold, a real flu is not to be trifled with. But does a flu shot always make sense and what are the side effects?
There are regular waves of flu in certain regions of Germany. And they are by no means harmless for everyone – especially for people with a physically weak constitution.
That is why many people ask the question every year “Flu vaccination yes or no?”. Even experts give different answers to this question. In any case, a few basic information will make the decision easier.
The difference between the flu and the common cold
Many people still use the terms “cold” and “flu” for the same thing. There are some key differences between the two:
There are many different pathogens behind a cold. In contrast, flu (influenza) viruses are responsible for a “real” flu.
A cold usually starts slowly. First the nose starts running, then there is hoarseness and so on. In contrast, the onset of flu is rather violent and sudden.
With normal colds, a fever is rare, with the flu, temperatures quickly exceed 38.5 ° Celsius.
Most of the time, the flu lasts a lot longer than a cold.
However, it is not always easy to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. It is important, however, that the former is usually harmless, which does not necessarily apply to flu.
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When a flu shot makes sense
While young and healthy people usually cope well with the flu, this does not apply to other groups of people, especially to:
For these risk groups, doctors largely agree that a flu vaccination makes sense. Others point out that people with a strong immune system can pose a risk of infection for such at-risk people, which is why a flu vaccination is generally useful for them too.
The disadvantages of a flu shot
Side effects are possible, but hardly serious. If you are allergic to egg white, only certain preparations are possible.
Because flu viruses are real quick-change artists, the flu vaccination has to be repeated every year.
For the same reason, a flu shot is not 100 percent protection. If a new virus unexpectedly emerges, you can still get the flu.
In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves whether a flu shot makes sense in their case. You can hardly lose anything. If you work a lot with young children or the elderly, you shouldn’t do without it in order to avoid the risk of infection for others.
But be careful: it takes time about 14 days for the vaccine to work. That is why vaccination usually makes sense in autumn, October or November.