Why seasonal flu vaccination is necessary; where could you get it from

One of the common and recurring seasonal diseases is the seasonal flu which is popularly known as Influenza or H1N1. The respiratory viral infection can lead to complications such as pneumonia and hospitalisation just like Covid-19. As per India’s Serum Institute, unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. Influenza occurs globally with an annual attack rate estimated at five-10 per cent in adults and 20–30 per cent in children.

As a public health problem in India, influenza vaccines are administered for protection. Notably, new flu vaccines are developed twice a year as flu viruses undergo changes rapidly. It is considered that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness and hospitalisation by decreasing the severity of the illness. It also helps to prevent the spread of the flu virus to family members like the elderly.

What are the different types of seasonal flu vaccines?

As per the Serum Institute which is one of the first few manufacturers to develop intra-nasal live vaccine in India, there are two types of vaccines – Injectable and intra-nasal vaccine. The intra-nasal vaccine is given as spray into the nostrils. The intra-nasal route of administration helps avoid reactions and pain associated with injections. It also mimics the way the virus attacks and therefore offers some unique advantages. However, in India, flu vaccine is given in mostly injectable form and can cause minor side-effects like soreness and redness at the injection site, mild headache, nausea, and fever.

Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection. (Source: getty images)

India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s former member Dr Ajay Gambhir and the current Delhi Medical Association member told indianexpress.com that flu vaccines are only administered in “all private hospitals” in India by the consulting doctors, and not in government hospitals in the country. “The new flu vaccines are available with all vaccine suppliers which are bought by doctors/hopsitals and administered only with prescription as per the consulting doctor’s recommendation. Sometimes, government employees may avail of the vaccine through the CGHS (Central Government Health Scheme),” he said.

Since the nature of the virus keeps changing, it is important to not miss the vaccinations, Dr Gambhir stressed.

Does flu vaccines protect against Covid?

Since the symptoms related to Covid and seasonal flu are comparatively similar, it is thought that flu vaccine can prevent Covid. According to Serum Institute, flu vaccine prevents seasonal flu, reduce the panic and testing associated with Covid-like symptoms, prevent complications of flu and in turn reduces the need of hospitalisation. Although flu vaccination doesn’t prevent Covid, it definitely will help in differentiation of Covid vs seasonal flu and help in identification of Covid cases.

Here are some prominent hospitals where you can book the flu vaccine now.

Cloudnine Hospitals
You can book either online or request a call back for flu vaccine at home or in the hospital in metro cities including Chennai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Noida etc.
The site also mentions that if one has registered the details of their child on the website, a reminder email and SMS about the upcoming vaccination will be sent.

Manipal Hospitals

Can be booked online or on 910041467 at home or at the hospital
Vaccination charges: Rs 1,550

Motherhood Hospital

Can be booked online in locations like Bengaluru, Indore, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, Noida etc

Apollo Clinic

You can book either online or call on 1860-500-7788 states including Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh etc.
The site also mentions that if one has registered the details of their child on the website, a reminder email and SMS about the upcoming vaccination will be sent.

Vardhman Children’s Clinic and Vaccination Centre

You can book by calling on 011-43537676, 011-25552555

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