Flu vaccine: where to get vaccinated in Belarus
Recently, the topic of health has hit the top due to the large number of cases of COVID-19. The topic of vaccination has always been controversial, but today it has gained even more publicity. Therefore, today we will talk about flu shots, where it is best to get it and for whom it is intended.
Why you should get the flu shot?
Vaccination initiates immunity not only against the influenza microbe, but also against other acute respiratory viral infections. Each flu vaccine has, for example, a termed immunogenic effect. This means, in fact, that the vaccine, in addition to the flu itself, protects the body from other respiratory viral infections. And these are not our guesses. Large studies were carried out, as a result of which it was found that the result of vaccination is 40–70% of "protection" against influenza and 40–50% from other acute respiratory viral infections.
The actions of flu vaccinations have been going on for 10 years, and by now they have already gained their experience. These centuries-old studies demonstrate, in fact, that vaccination not only does not lower the immunity's ability to resist influenza microbes, on the contrary, it initiates it. In response to the vaccine - the original viral sample, the body produces a tremendous amount of antigens, which, when meeting with a real microbe, are activated and quickly destroy it. If a person is vaccinated every year out of 10, then his immunity to influenza is activated daily. Antigens simply prevent him from “forgetting” about the probable threat. Moreover, if he needs to skip a year or two of vaccinations, the body is unlikely to give slack.
Contraindications to flu shots
Influenza vaccination contains different types of contraindications. These limitations occur depending on the composition of the drug. Bans can be introduced for a certain period of time or for life. The most common contraindications for the flu vaccine are:
• patient's age - up to 6 months;
• first trimester of pregnancy;
• severe side effects after the last flu vaccination;
• immunodeficiency: both initial, for example, and repeated;
• brightly embodied allergic reaction: Quincke's edema, anaphylactic shock, encephalitis, convulsions, and other signs. General predisposition to allergic manifestations;
• bronchial asthma;
• chronic diseases of the respiratory system;
• anemia, other blood diseases;
• chronic heart failure;
• impaired renal function; endocrine pathologies;
• any acquired diseases in the acute stage.
Vaccination of adults
Flu vaccines have proven effective in all age groups. As countless studies have recommended, in young healthy mature adults, vaccination was effective on average 90% of the time.
Vaccination can help reduce hospitalizations and deaths from complications associated with influenza:
In healthy mature people, hospitalizations for pneumonia are reduced by 40% (among older people, from 45 to 85%).
Vaccination of children
The more unsafe viral infection of the autumn-winter period, especially for children of early age, is generally recognized as influenza. Vaccination is considered to be the most common and readily available method of preventing influenza in real time. This method has already proven itself worthy in the fight against almost all infectious diseases, reducing the incidence of influenza or other infection by a factor of 10 thousand. It is not in vain that WHO puts immunization in terms of its contribution to increasing the life expectancy of the population in the second place after providing access to drinking water.
Where you can get a flu shot in Belarus
Belarus provides several options for influenza vaccination, including on a paid and free basis. We will tell you the details below.
Paid flu shots
Patients who trust paid services more are offered several vaccination options:
-in any local hospital, subsequently resolving the issue of payment for commercial services;
- in the City Center for Vaccine Prevention of the Healthcare Institution “City Children's Infectious Disease Clinical Hospital”;
- in personal medical centers.
Free flu shots
On a free basis, the vaccination can be delivered at the health care institution at the place of residence after being examined by a doctor.
In Belarus, vaccination is carried out with 3 types of vaccines:
• Grippol Plus;
Below we will discuss each of them.
For the population related to risk groups, vaccinations were taken into account on a gratuitous basis with the introduction of the Grippol Plus vaccine (manufactured in the Russian Federation). The vaccine contains antigens of the influenza microbe similar to A (H1N1, H3N2) and the Rh factor of the influenza B microbe, as well as the immunoadjuvant Polyoxidonium. The vaccine causes the formation of the highest value of a kind of immunity against influenza. The protective effect after vaccination usually begins after 8-12 days and persists for up to 12 months. It is used by children from 6 months of age, young people and mature people without age limitation.
Vaxigrip is a vaccine for the prevention of influenza created in France. Immunization with Vaxigrip vaccine is carried out every year in the autumn-winter stage.
Vaccination is likely at the beginning of the epidemic rise in the incidence of influenza. Children who have not been vaccinated before are given 2 introductions with a break of 4 weeks.
It is recommended for use both for children and for pregnant and lactating women. There are practically no side reactions. Only 1.9% of those vaccinated had some of the side effects: headache, chills, a slight increase in body temperature. Of those I interviewed, many responded positively. Some of the respondents noted that although there was a slight redness, they did not get the flu.
Influvac is a vaccine that contains exclusively purified antigens of influenza A and B viruses. The advantage of this drug is that it is highly purified from components of the influenza virus. It should also be noted that the composition of this vaccine is updated annually, and therefore you can always be sure of its high quality. So, for example, it was adapted for the 2011-2012 influenza, the vaccine contains antigens of influenza A and B viruses.
It should be noted that, unlike Grippol, Influvac is paid. However, most of the respondents answered that they get this particular vaccine, because there are no side effects after it.
Other influenza vaccines
There are the following types of vaccines for the prevention of influenza - live and inactivated (i.e. killed).
A live vaccine is a vaccine that contains a live vaccine (i.e., specially designed for a vaccine) influenza virus.
An inactivated (i.e., killed) vaccine is a vaccine that contains a whole killed influenza vaccine virus or its individual particles (antigens).
All flu vaccines provide reliable immunity against influenza disease.
Photo: zverovod.info, tvn.md, avatars.mds.yandex.net