The influenza vaccine is an effective way to protect against influenza. The influenza vaccine protects against seasonal influenza, which spreads especially in the autumn and winter. Influenza is a severe respiratory infection caused by the influenza viruses.
Many people know the name influenza, but they often don’t know what makes the illness different from the common cold. However, influenza is a much more sudden and severe illness than the common cold. There are influenza epidemics every winter.
Influenza is an infectious disease of the respiratory tract that involves a fever and is often severe.
Influenza symptoms usually include a sudden fever, body aches, a cough and other respiratory symptoms. Influenza can also cause headaches and a general feeling of being unwell. Children may also have abdominal or bowel symptoms.
Most people who get influenza will recover in less than two weeks.
Complications from influenza include pneumonia, acute bronchitis, sinus infections as well as problems such as the worsening of asthma. Ear infections are the most common influenza complication in children.
Influenza is spread through respiratory droplets, such as when someone coughs or sneezes. You can also get infected through contact, such as by your hands. Influenza spreads easily in situations where there are a lot of people together in a small space, such as at day care centres and schools and on public transport.
Those who have influenza can infect others before actual symptoms appear. Infectiousness is at its highest 1–4 days after the onset of symptoms, and adults will be infectious for about one week. Children may be infectious for up to two weeks.
In addition to the influenza vaccine, hand washing and good hygiene when coughing or sneezing can also help prevent influenza.
Over the course of an ordinary influenza epidemic, about one in ten adults will get influenza. Being vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself against influenza, and most people who have the vaccine will not get influenza. If a person who has had the influenza vaccine gets influenza, the illness is usually milder and does not last as long. In addition to preventing influenza complications, the influenza vaccine also prevents ear infections: the rate of ear infections over the influenza season has been up to a third lower in children who have been vaccinated against influenza. By getting vaccinated, you can also help prevent the spread of influenza and protect both your loved ones and those in high-risk groups.
those aged over 65
those who are pregnant
those who belong to a high-risk group despite their age, such as people with a cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease, liver disease or kidney disease
patients whose immune system has weakened due to an illness or its treatment
We recommend getting vaccinated in the autumn, before the start of the influenza season. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop, and the protection against the illness will not be complete during that time. You can also get vaccinated after the epidemic has already begun, but there is a risk of infection before the antibodies have fully developed. The vaccine will not be harmful in such a situation and will not lead to an illness that is more severe than usual. However, please note that you may not get vaccinated while you have a fever or have an infection that is causing a fever.
The influenza vaccine, like other vaccines, may have side effects. Few people who have the vaccine will experience side effects, and the side effects will usually only last for a short time. The most common side effects include soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site. Sometimes the vaccine can also cause a feeling of being slightly unwell, joint and muscle aches, headaches and a slightly raised temperature or a fever.
During the influenza season 2020–2021, Mehiläinen will use a quadrivalent influenza vaccine that protects against both influenza A viruses and both influenza B viruses. We also offer a quadrivalent nasal spray influenza vaccine for children aged 2–17. For both of the vaccines, the viruses the vaccines protect against have been selected on the basis of WHO’s recommendations.
You must have a new influenza vaccine every year as the influenza viruses in circulation change from year to year.
The price of a vaccination given as an injection is EUR 39.80, including the vaccine and the nurse’s fee. The outpatient fee and the Kanta fee will not be added to the price. The price of a vaccination given as a nasal spray is EUR 56.80.
In people of working age, the influenza vaccine prevents 5–8 cases out of 10. Check the influenza vaccine calculator (in finnish) to see what vaccination would mean for your organisation. Corporate decision makers can contact us and agree on vaccination with their organisation’s occupational health nurse.