What is flu?
Flu – short for influenza – is a common infectious viral illness which most commonly occurs in Sweden during the winter. Ordinary flu is also known as seasonal flu. The types of flu that occur vary from year to year and the vaccine is adjusted accordingly. You should therefore get yourself vaccinated every autumn to ensure you are well protected against the right type of influenza.
Is flu dangerous?
For the majority of people, the symptoms of flu include a temperature (fever), cough, headache and joint pain, but you will usually get better within a week. However, if you have one of the diseases or conditions listed below, flu could make you seriously ill.
Who should have the flu vaccine?
Anyone over the age of 65, pregnant women (after pregnancy week 16) and anyone with one or more of the following diseases or conditions, regardless of age, can have the vaccination free of charge:
- Long-term heart and/or lung disease
- Diabetes that is difficult to treat
- Severe asthma that causes a disability
- Severely weakened immune system due to illness or medication
- Long-term kidney and liver failure
- Neuromuscular disorders that affect your breathing
- Children with multiple disabilities
- Extreme obesity (body mass index of over 40)
Speak to your doctor if you are unsure whether you have any of the above.
A reliable vaccine which gives good protection
Many millions of people worldwide have had the vaccination since the 1970s. It is a reliable vaccine and offers the best protection against flu. After you have received the vaccine, it may feel a little tender and swollen around the injection site. Some people may also have a slight temperature. These problems usually pass within a couple of days.
Where to get the vaccine
You can get the vaccine at your local health centre. From early November, health centres around the county will have special drop-in times. If the times are not convenient for you, you can book an appointment at your local health centre either over the phone or online. Visit 1177.se for drop-in times and contact information.