On Monday, as part of the “Let’s roll up our sleeves! We get vaccinated” campaign, the flu vaccine begins. The vaccine is also free this year for anyone who has compulsory health insurance.
Ljubljana – Influenza is a highly contagious disease and poses a major threat to public health, as the virus spreads easily among the population. “To prevent the spread, it is advisable to follow three simple rules. If you are sick and ill with the flu, stay home, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and cover your mouth with a disposable fabric when you sneeze / cough or sneeze / cough up the sleeve. The most effective protection against Influenza is a vaccine that protects against the disease as well as possible complications associated with influenza, “advises the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).
For those who have a particularly dangerous flu
Although the NIJZ influenza vaccine is recommended for all residents, it is especially recommended for groups at higher risk for serious illnesses – those over 65, chronic patients and their families, overweight people, pregnant women and young children (between 6 and 23 months of age) and their families , Health workers, nursing home workers who are at risk of infection at work or can transmit the infection to other people at work, and to other emergency workers. “The disease in young patients without chronic diseases usually occurs as a fever for several days with signs of respiratory disease and pain in muscles and joints. However in at-risk populations, the disease can progress to a more severe clinical picture with common complications such as viral and bacterial pneumonia as well as higher mortality. In these groups, the vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalization and also death as a result of the disease itself or its complications, “the NIJZ explained.
Influenza viruses change frequently and rapidly, as does the vaccine, which is prepared annually to protect against viruses that are expected to circulate in the coming season. Therefore, one dose of the vaccine should be given each year, and two doses are required for children under the age of nine who are first vaccinated against influenza. The protection is determined about two weeks after the vaccination and lasts for several months, gradually decreases and may be too low after a year.
“Although in the flu season last year there were no cases of official flu in Slovenia (circumstances were specific, we had so-called lock in the country, there was also less socializing), the vaccine is very important and significant this year, especially for groups where the flu may be more severe or with complications. “Respiratory viral infections are circulating much earlier than usual this autumn, with respiratory sensory viral infections (RSVs) dominating, and influenza already occurring in some parts of Europe,” the NIJZ said.
Influenza in covid-19
The vaccine is carried out by selected personal physicians and other physicians, and the adult vaccine is also carried out by NIJZ regional units. Vaccinations should be ordered at outpatient clinics of NIJZ regional units in advance. “The covid-19 vaccine does not protect us from the flu and vice versa, as it is a vaccine against various viruses. You can give the flu vaccine and the covid-19 vaccine at the same time or at any interval.”
Vaccination against pneumococcal infections is also recommended for the elderly and chronic patients, the NIJZ advises. The vaccine for certain groups is funded by compulsory insurance funds.