Health Glossary - For Everyone

Flu vaccine
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What is the flu vaccine?

The flu (influenza) is a viral infection that affects the nose, throat and lungs which affects from 5-20% of people all over the world each year, mostly during winter.

The flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine - this means it contains influenza virus that is not alive. This is injected into the upper arm to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to the influenza virus. The injected person's immune system produce antibodies that attack and kill the virus and provide more memory antibodies to attack and kill the virus if the person is further infected later, so that they do not become as ill and often do not actually get a flu infection at all.

The flu vaccine was developed because many people get very sick from the flu, have to miss work or school, others need hospitalisation for the symptoms they develop, while some even die from it and other complications that arise from it. The flu vaccine can prevent this.


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Important flu vaccine facts

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Why the flu vaccine is important

Flu vaccine (the flu shot) is recommended for people who are more likely to get really sick from the flu if they get it as they are more susceptible to getting complications (such as pneumonia) from the flu if they catch it. The flu vaccine provides some immunity and lessens the symptoms of the flu if a person gets it.

The following groups of people are recommended to get the flu vaccine:

National Immunisation Program Schedule in Australia provides a free influenze vaccine for people aged over 65 and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 15-49 with health risks, and for those over 50.

How effective the flu vaccine is, depends on a few factors:


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Last reviewed: 14 January 2007 || Last updated: 21 August 2007


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More information

To learn more, go to the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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