With the fast arrival of flu season, the Luxembourg Ministry of Health has issued a recommendation for vaccinations.
Every year, seasonal influenza affects millions of people in Europe and can cause serious complications for the vulnerable. The main complication is mainly pneumonia, which occurs more frequently in the elderly, as well as in children and adults with chronic diseases.
As such, it is recommended that people over the age of 65 and all persons at risk get vaccinated against seasonal flu as a preventative measure. People at risk are primarily those with chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, kidney problems or reduced immunity. Vaccination is also recommended for pregnant women. Those concerned should consult their physician for vaccination.
Indeed, safe and effective vaccines exist and are renewed annually due to the regular mutation of the flu virus. The influenza vaccine for the 2017/2018 season is now available in pharmacies as well as issued on medical prescription, paid by the CNS for people at risk, people over 65 and pregnant women. Whilst the vaccine does not always prevent the disease, it significantly reduces the risk of serious complications.
The Ministry of Health has stated that the best time to get vaccinated is in October or November with immunity persisting for at least six months. The vaccination consists of a single injection, to be repeated each year, which rarely produces adverse side effects.
Other ways to prevent the cold and flu are to follow classical hygiene rules, such as regularly washing hands with soap, coughing or sneezing into the hollow of the elbow, disposing of tissues after use, avoiding contact with the sick and regularly ventilating rooms.