Influenza vaccination

Vaccinera dig mot influensa - engelskaThe content concerns Västerbotten

Influenza is caused by a virus and is highly contagious. The influenza virus is common during the winter months in Sweden every year. The virus is transmitted through the air and spreads above all if someone who is sick coughs or sneezes.  You can protect yourself against the influenza by getting vaccinated. You can be vaccinated against several diseases at the same time.

Some people can become seriously ill if they catch the flu. For them, it is especially important to have good protection against the flu and are recommended to get vaccinated. 

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You are recommended the vaccine if any of these things apply to you:

  • You are 65 years or older.
  • You are pregnant after the 12th week of pregnancy, or earlier if you are also recommended to get vaccinated for any other reason.
  • You have a cardiovascular disease, for example stroke.
  • You have a lung disease, for example severe asthma.
  • You have diabetes.
  • Your immune system is severely weakened due to an illness or treatment.
  • You have liver or kidney failure.
  • You are severely overweight.
  • You have a neuromuscular disease which affects your breathing.
  • You have multiple physical impairments.
  • You have Down syndrome. 

The recommendations apply both to you as an adult, and to children older than six months.

You who are running an increased risk of becoming seriously ill for some other reason is recommended to get vaccinated. It is your physician who makes the assessment.

If you are living with someone who may become seriously ill, it is recommended that you get vaccinated against influenza to protect them. This also applies to you if you work around someone who may become seriously ill.  

You need to be vaccinated every year 

Once you have been vaccinated, you are protected against the influenza virus that is present this year. Vaccination needs to be taken every year to have protection against the virus.  

Vaccination against pneumococcus 

There is also another vaccine that you should take if you are a person who is recommended to get vaccinated against the flu. It is a vaccine against so-called pneumococcus.

Pneumococcus is a type of bacteria which can make you very ill with pneumonia. 

Are you pregnant, then you would not usually need to be vaccinated against pneumococcus. Your physician may assess a need of it, for example, you have a certain illness.  

Where can I get my vaccination?

You get vaccinated at your health center or infirmary. If you live in Skellefteå, you are welcome to have your vaccination in the central vaccination center Vaccinationscentrum Skellefteå. 

This is how the vaccination is performed

You will receive the flu vaccine through a syringe. The injection is usually given in the upper arm. Children younger than three years of age usually receive the vaccine in the thigh. For children over the age of two and young people up to the age of 18, there is also a vaccine in the form of a nasal spray. 

You may get a little red and swollen afterwards where you got the injection. It may also feel a little sore. You may get a fever, headache and sore muscles. Children may have poor appetite and diarrhoea. The problems usually passes within a few days.  

When should I not get vaccinated?

If you have a fever, you should not get vaccinated.

Influenza vaccine contains substances from eggs. If you cannot eat food containing substances from eggs due to a severe allergy, you cannot get the flu vaccine. 

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

You who are pregnant can become very ill with the flu. To protect you and your child, vaccination is recommended. 

It is not harmful to the baby in the womb. The vaccine also gives the newborn baby good protection.

You can get vaccinated even if you are breastfeeding. You are recommended to get vaccinated when you have been pregnant for at least 12 weeks. You can also be recommended vaccination earlier if your physician determines that you need it.   

What does it cost?

In Västerbotten, the vaccination is free of charge for those who may be at risk of becoming seriously ill.

If you live with someone who is at risk of becoming seriously ill or if you are person not recommended for taking the vaccine but still want to be vaccinated, you will be charged a fee of SEK 250. 

If you get sick

If you catch the flu despite having been vaccinated, the symptoms are usually of a milder sort.

Stay at home as long as you have a fever and feel sick. Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm and wash your hands often to avoid infecting others.

You must contact healthcare for advice if you get the flu and you are a person recommended for vaccination. 

Influence and be involved in your care

It is important that you understand what the healthcare staff is telling you. Ask questions if you don't understand. You can get help from an interpreter if you don't speak Swedish. 

At the same time you can vaccinate yourself against Covid-19

You who are recommended to vaccinate yourself against the flu are recommended also to vaccinate against Covid-19. You can do that at the same time.

You can get Covid-19 even if you are vaccinated. But vaccination reduces the risk of becoming seriously ill.  

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