The flu vaccination campaign began on October 17. To answer all your questions on this subject, TipsForWomens takes stock with Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.
The flu vaccination campaign officially began on Tuesday October 17, a few days after that against Covid-19 and will last until January 31, 2024. Here are the answers to the questions we may ask on this subject, with the Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.
What vaccines are available?
There are four flu vaccines available in Europe. These are Fluarix Tetra®, Vaxigrip Tetra®, Influvac Tetra®, and Efluelda®. “The latter is reserved for people aged over 65, the others are intended for adults and children, from the age of six months. notes Dr. Kierzek. “Let us also remember that they are different, each year, depending on the circulating viral strains. You must therefore be vaccinated every year“.
Can we be vaccinated against the flu and Covid-19 at the same time?
“Yes,” Dr. Kierzek answers unambiguously. “It is possible to inject both vaccines on the same day, one in each arm”. And a little practical precaution: vaccines against Covid-19 are available from all health professionals who can inject them (liberal nurse, midwife, doctor, pharmacist, etc.) but not the flu vaccine. “You must therefore organize yourself to have it with you on the day you go to the vaccination site, except in pharmacies.” advises the doctor.
Who is affected by vaccination?
Vaccination against seasonal influenza viruses is recommended for people at risk of complications, such as the elderly, immunocompromised people, those with certain chronic illnesses from the age of six months, pregnant women and obese people.
“Those close to infants under 6 months old who present risk factors for serious influenza and people staying in a follow-up care establishment or in a medico-social accommodation establishment, whatever their age, are also concerned. , just like health professionals and people exposed to swine and avian influenza viruses such as veterinarians, for example” adds Dr. Gérald Kierzek.
What are the contraindications?
“The vaccine should not be used in case of allergy to the active substances of course, but also to any of the other components” specifies the medical director of TipsForWomens, “just as in the case of allergy to residues present in traces, such as eggs or chicken proteins.. The doctor adds: “In case of fever or when you are sick, it is important to postpone your vaccination until another day.”
Where to get your vaccine?
It is possible to be vaccinated by a doctor, a midwife, a nurse or a pharmacist but also “in health centers” specifies Gérald Kierzek. The first two health professionals can vaccinate everyone.
As for nurses, they can vaccinate:
- Adults, whether or not targeted by the recommendations (with the exception of people with a history of severe allergic reaction to ovalbumin or a previous vaccination);
- Minors aged 11 and over, whether or not targeted by the recommendations, without prior medical prescription for the injection procedure;
- Minors up to and including 10 years of age on medical prescription for the injection procedure by a doctor or midwife.
Pharmacists, finally, can vaccinate adults, whether or not targeted by the recommendations (with the exception also of people with a history of severe allergic reaction to ovalbumin or to a previous vaccination) and minors aged 11 and over, targeted or not by the recommendations.
Can children get vaccinated?
“Indeed and this is new to this 2023-2024 vaccination campaign” explained Dr. Kierzek.Children aged 2 to 17 can be vaccinated, with or without risk factors.. The live attenuated influenza vaccine administered nasally Fluenz Tetra® is particularly suitable for this age group but for the moment it is not available in pharmacies.
Can I get vaccinated if I am pregnant?
“Of course” Dr. Kierzek estimates. “By being pregnant, we are considered to belong to a fragile, at-risk group. Flu vaccination is even recommended.”
After how long is the vaccine effective?
“It is estimated that the vaccine provides effective protection two weeks after injection. It is therefore recommended to be vaccinated before we are in the epidemic phase” indicates the expert, who recalls that being vaccinated does not cause the disease, since they are strains of inactivated virus. “On the other hand, it is not a 100% effective vaccine.” he also emphasizes.
What are the most important side effects of the vaccine?
Although the vaccine does not cause the flu, it is possible to experience certain side effects, such as redness in the arm, aches or a slight fever. “These are the most common reactions” adds the medical director of TipsForWomens. “In one in 450,000 cases, you may have a serious allergic reaction. Finally, for the Guillain-Barré syndromethere would be one more case per million people vaccinated, so we can say that the risk remains very low.”