Have you got your flu shot? Find out the right time for India
With the pandemic seemingly under control and Covid-19 infection numbers hitting all-time lows, everyone seems to be heaving a sigh of relief. People have started going to work, stepping out for social activities and even travelling for brief vacations. But, this is the time of the year when flu infections are peaking across the country with the onset of the monsoon and taking the flu shot is the most-effective safeguard against it.
The flu vaccine protects your body from influenza, a serious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Experts recommend that the flu shot must be taken annually to protect against it, more so this year since the symptoms are very similar to Covid-19. The shot should be taken by children from 6 months to 8 years, elderly and adults with comorbidities like asthma, diabetes as they are at a higher risk of developing flu related complications.
“With the ongoing pandemic, India has reinitiated economic activities, reopening of workplaces, celebration of festive season with groups of people gathering and traveling across the city and to other states as well. This has made influenza vaccination more crucial for 360-degree protection. It will also create an unimaginable burden on the healthcare system to face influenza or its strain at the same time. Hence, the best precaution to be taken is to get a timely flu vaccine. In addition, wearing masks and maintaining social distance with regular sanitisation can be some daily precautions that can help to confine the flu season,” said Dr. Ashok Kumar Dutta, Emeritus consultant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and former Director Professor and HOD, Pediatrics, Lady Harding’s Medical College, New Delhi.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that the Southern Hemisphere (SH) vaccine is the ideal one for Indian conditions as the annual shot is updated with antigens prevalent in our part of the world. It is imperative to take the shot at the right time as flu infections are already on the rise across the country. The recommended time to take the flu shot is between mid-summer and monsoon.
So, if you haven’t taken your flu shot for this year yet, contact your doctor and get it as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: All the comments, views or opinions expressed herein are the independent views of the doctor.