It’s flu jab season – should you get the shot?
The autumn is upon us and so is the start of the flu season. To combat the illness, every year a flu vaccine is put together to fight the current known strains of flu. In the UK, the flu jab is only offered free of charge to people in known risk groups but individuals can buy a shot in a pharmacy. Many employers also choose to offer the vaccine at work to help their staff stay healthy through the winter. If you’re unsure whether it is safe to have a flu jab or not, read on for more information.
The flu jab does work
The NHS recommends the vaccine especially for vulnerable groups like children, pregnant women and the elderly. NHS website states that “studies have shown that the flu jab does work and will help prevent you getting the flu. It won’t stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary between people, so it’s not a 100% guarantee that you’ll be flu-free, but if you do get flu after vaccination it’s likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been.”
Fears about vaccines are unfounded
Many people are concerned about the safety of vaccines and there are campaigns to refuse regular vaccinations on health grounds. These fears are often based on scary statistics that have caught the attention of media. On closer inspection these fears, such as a link between vaccinations and autism, have turned out to be unfounded. Anti-vaccine campaigners also worry about the ingredients that make up the vaccine, which include substances that we wouldn’t normally consume. This video explains how vaccines are made and how they work:
Side effects are mild
The NHS also comments on side effects of the vaccine: “Serious side effects of the injected flu vaccine are very rare. You may have a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days after having the jab, and your arm may be a bit sore where you were injected.”
Vaccines can eradicate disease
So vaccines are pretty safe. But not only that, they actually work. In Australia, cervical cancer vaccine was introduced 10 years ago. As the BBC reported in August 2016, “since then, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine has been rolled out across 130 countries and halved the number of new cervical cancers. The HPV vaccine also protects against cancers in the throat and mouth in both men and women. Prof Ian Frazer said the vaccine could eradicate cancers caused by HPV within 40 years.”
Contact us for more info if your company would like to offer flu vaccines to employees.