The Department of Social Affairs and Health of the Government of Monaco recalls that, as every year, the seasonal flu will appear in the coming weeks.
It essentially represents a danger to weakened people, especially the elderly and for patients with chronic cardiac or respiratory diseases.
The outbreak of the winter 2015/2016 showed that the most serious cases occurred among unvaccinated people in these groups.
It is reminded that the vaccine, already available in pharmacies since the beginning of the month, protects against flu virus expected over the winter season of 2016/2017 and that vaccination is the only protection against this disease.
Being vaccinated not only helps prevent or decrease the effects of flu but also contributes to avoiding infecting others. To be effective, vaccination must be done before the circulation of influenza viruses (usually from the end of October) so that the body can develop antibodies and protect themselves.
The influenza vaccination lasts one year and it is, therefore necessary to renew it annually. The vaccine causes very few side effects (local pain, flu-like reaction disappears within 1 to 2 days). There are few counter-indications outside of acute infections but it is necessary to consult your doctor who will prescribe the vaccine. It is to be noted that in Monaco, the health insurance schemes reimburse the vaccine to all their policyholders and their dependents.
The composition of the vaccine against the flu changes each year based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization. This is due to the fact that the virus is continuously evolving. This is why the current vaccines are only valid for 1 year, and will, therefore have a new and most up to date formula for every winter season when the virus strikes again. As we all know, prevention is better than cure.