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Influenza (Flu) Vaccine


Flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The disease is caused by types A and B of the virus, and rarely by type C. It causes disease every year, especially in the winter season. It is transmitted by inhaling the droplets emitted by patients as a result of coughing or sneezing or by rubbing the hands into the mouth, nose or eyes after touching the surfaces contaminated with these droplets. It can cause both upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, headache, sore throat, breathing difficulties, and generalized body pain. Symptoms are noticeably milder in the common cold, where similar symptoms can be seen and is mistaken for flu. Usually leading to a self-limiting clinical picture, It is likely to have a severe course with the patients having the risk factors (under 2 years of age, over 65 years of age, pregnancy, asthma, neurological disease [cerebral palsy, epilepsy, stroke, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury), chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, liver-kidney disease, metabolic disease, immune deficiency, long-term aspirin use, obesity).


In order to protect against the disease, close contact with people who have the flu should be avoided, and home rest should be provided to prevent the contagiousness of the person who has the flu. The most effective method of protection from flu is vaccination with flu vaccine. With the vaccine, up to 80% protection is provided. Flu vaccine is an inactive vaccine, meaning it does not contain live viruses. The influenza virus that causes flu can change every year, so vaccination should be done every year. The best period for vaccination is October and November. The effectiveness of the vaccine occurs within 2 weeks and continues for approximately 6-8 months. Half dose is applied to children between 6 months and 35 months. The full dose can be applied after 36 months. The second dose should be applied at least 1 month apart to children under 9 years of age who have never had a flu shot before. Those with severe egg allergy, those younger than 6 months and with the first 3 months of pregnancy should not be vaccinated.


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