《声音》 VOICES Ivy's VOICES Fall/Winter Edition 2018 - Page 34

HEALTH CORNER ALL ABOUT FLU SHOTS By Helen Zhang, Beijing United Family Hospital A long with the cold winter winds, the flu season has arrived. You may remember that last year’s flu season was particularly bad, sweeping through Asia at alarming rates. The flu isn’t just a little cold – it’s a far more serious disease. Here to answer your questions about the flu vaccine is UFH Pharmacist Helen Zhang. The quadrivalent vaccine will contain the above strains plus a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (Yamagata lineage), which was also in circulation last year. Compared with the 2017-18 season, the composition for 2018-19 represents changes in the A (H3N2) and B (Victoria) components of both the trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines. 3. When I’m vaccinated, will I be completely safe from the flu? In general, the flu vaccine can protect the majority of people from contracting the flu. However, you may not be 100% safe. Nevertheless, if you do still get the flu after being vaccinated, you will have a less severe flu. It’s also important to note that flu vaccines do not protect you from other viruses like those that cause the common cold. 1. Why is getting a flu shot recommended? Getting vaccinated is a very effective way to prevent the flu. Researchers all over the world and long-term vaccination programs have demonstrated that vaccines significantly lower your risk of contracting the flu and thus suffering from influenza-related complications. If you get vaccinated, you are also less likely to spread the flu to others. Immunity develops two weeks after inoculation and usually lasts for a year. 2. What medicines are in this year’s flu shot? Every year, WHO makes a recommendation for flu vaccinations based on predictions of which flu strains will be in circulation that season. This year, there will be trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccines. The trivalent one will contain: • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09–like virus; • an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2) –like virus; • a B/Colorado/06/2017–like virus (Victoria lineage). Ivy Schools Fall/Winter Edition 2018