Influenza vaccination

Vaccinera dig mot influensa - engelskaThe content concerns Västerbotten

Influenza is caused by a virus and is highly contagious. The influenza virus comes to Sweden each year and is most common in the winter months. The virus is air-borne and primarily spread by coughing and sneezing. If you contract influenza you will likely experience a high fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat and coughing. You can protect yourself against influenza by getting a vaccination.

The vaccination is particularly recommended for certain groups of people

Influenza can make some people very ill and may even lead on to other serious conditions, such as lung inflammation. It is therefore recommended that you get the vaccination.

You are recommended to get the vaccination if any of the below apply to you:

  • You are 65 years of age or older.
  • You are pregnant (after week 16 or earlier if you have also been recommended the vaccination for another reason).
  • You suffer from a disease of the heart.
  • You suffer from a disease of the lungs.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have an illness or take medication that impairs your body’s ability to fight infections.
  • You suffer from liver or kidney failure.
  • You are seriously overweight.
  • You suffer from a disease of the nerves and muscles that can make it difficult for you to breathe.
  • You have multiple disabilities.
  • You have a breathing problem such as difficulties coughing or bringing up phlegm.

The recommendations apply to all adults and children over the age of six months.

Family members and colleagues of people with highly impaired immune systems should also vaccinate themselves against influenza in order to protect them.

You need to be vaccinated every year

Once you have been vaccinated you will be protected against this year’s strain of the influenza virus. You will only be protected for one year and will therefore need a new vaccination each year. The vaccination you receive has been specially developed to protect against the current strain.

Pneumonia vaccination

The same groups as above (except pregnant women) should also be vaccinated against pneumonia.

Where can I get the vaccination?

You can get the vaccination at your local health centre or clinic.

The vaccination process

You will receive the vaccination through an injection. The injection is usually administered to the upper arm. Children under the age of three will usually receive the vaccination in their thigh. Children aged between two and eighteen can also receive the vaccine in the form of a nasal spray.

After the vaccination, you may notice that you are a little red and swollen around the area where needle went in. It may also feel a little tender. You may experience fever, headache and muscle pain. Children might experience a loss of appetite and loose stools. Any such side effects will normally only last a few days.

When should I refrain from getting the vaccination?

You should not get the vaccination if you have a fever.

If you are unable to eat food containing eggs due to an allergy then you are unable to receive the influenza vaccine.

Pregnancy and breast feeding

There are no risks of getting vaccinated when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant, the influenza virus can make you more sick than it would have otherwise. We therefore recommend pregnant women to get the vaccination. The vaccination will also help protect your unborn child.

It is recommended that you get the vaccination after week 16 of your pregnancy or earlier if you have also been recommended the vaccination for another reason.

What does it cost?

In Västerbotten, vaccination against influenza (flu) is free of charge for those of you at risk of becoming seriously ill if you get influenza. For everyone else the cost is SEK 250.

If you get sick

If you get sick despite having been vaccinated, the symptoms will normally be less severe.

Stay at home for as long as you have a fever and feel unwell. Cough and sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

If you belong to a group for whom the vaccination is recommended and you contract influenza then you should contact your GP.

Play an active role in your care

In order for you to participate in your healthcare and treatment, it is important that you understand the information that healthcare staff give to you. Ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand. You can get help from an interpreter if you don’t speak Swedish.

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