Flu Vaccine for Adults, with Consultation
What is Influenza and how is it transmitted?
Influenza is a viral infection caused by various Influenza viruses. It targets our respiratory system. Specifically the nose, throat and occasionally our lungs. Influenza viruses usually cause symptoms more severe than the common cold and the most common way to be prepared is to get the flu vaccine at least once a year.
Influenza viruses can cause a high fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, lethargy and muscle pain. The complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus/ear infections, or worsening of pre-existing chronic medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease.
Young children, elderly, pregnant women, immunocompromised individuals and individuals with chronic medical conditions are known to be more susceptible to the virus. These patients also more commonly require hospitalization or suffer from more serious complications.
The Influenza virus is contagious and is transmitted through air/droplets from coughs and sneezes from infected individuals. It can also be transmitted by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus followed by touching own’s mouth, nose or eyes.
There are 3 Influenza viruses known to infect humans: Influenza virus A, Influenza virus B and Influenza virus C. Vaccination can prevent seasonal flu caused by Influenza A (H1N1, H3N2) and B viruses (Yamagata, Victoria). Seasonal flu strains differ as the viruses mutate rapidly. Vaccinations reduce your risk of contracting Influenza by protecting you against certain strains of the virus. Regular vaccination also offers cross-protection from similar strains of the virus (i.e. you may have a shorter illness if you catch another strain of the flu).
The flu seasons peak twice a year and vary by hemispheres. The Southern Flu Season peaks mid-year, coinciding with winters in Australia and New Zealand. The Northern Flu Season generally peaks around January, coinciding with the winters of China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Northern America and Europe. .
Influenza vaccinations are a part of the National Adult Immunisation Schedule by the Ministry of Health, Singapore. For adults aged 18 years or older. It is recommended to be vaccinated once a year.
Who needs a flu vaccine?
- Individuals who travel often
- People who are 65 years old and above
- Individuals with a weakened immune system/ are immunocompromised
- Individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and liver disease
- Individuals receiving long-term aspirin
How many doses are required and time schedule for the flu vaccine?
Doses: 1 dose for Northern, 1 dose for Southern
Time schedule: Yearly for each vaccination (Formulation of flu vaccine is reviewed yearly)
The Flu Vaccine is Medisave claimable once a year for Singaporeans and Singaporean Permanent Residents.
Who should not receive the flu vaccine?
- Individuals who experience severe allergic reactions from a previous vaccination; or
- Allergies to specific vaccine components
$64.20* (inclusive of GST)
*Medisave claimable (Once annually)
More info from:
Ministry of Health Singapore: https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/103/topics_influenza
Mayo Clinic USA: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719?page=0&citems=10