Winter is the season of life-threatening influenza in some cases. The influenza vaccine serves as a shield for prevention and protection from the dire consequences.

Here we provide comprehensive information to answer your questions about influenza vaccination:

- Who should take the vaccine?
The German Standing Committee on Immunization recommends that all people over the age of 60, all residents in nursing homes and care, all pregnant women as of the fourth month, and all people with increased health risks, for example, people with heart problems They are particularly at risk for influenza.

In addition, all people who care or deal with this most at-risk group should be vaccinated, such as medical staff.

The head of the German Society of Infectious Diseases, Prof. Gerd Wittkenhuer, recommends vaccination, not only because it reduces the risk of infection, but also because it provides better protection for all.

- What cases should not be vaccinated?
The Permanent Vaccination Committee notes that one of these cases is an allergy to the components of the vaccine such as egg protein, so you should talk to your doctor before vaccination. This includes anyone with severe and serious illnesses, with a fever of more than 38.5 degrees, for example.

- When will we receive the vaccination?
Initially, November is a good time for vaccination, otherwise it can also be received in January or February. It takes about 14 days for the vaccine to properly protect, Wittkenhuer said.

- Is there a risk of vaccination?
Wittekenhuer asserts that the flu vaccine is safe in principle and has no negative effects, regardless of minor problems such as redness, pain at the injection site, or discomfort the next day.

- Can pregnant women be vaccinated?
A vaccine expert at the German Association of Gynecologists Michael Voisinsky says a pregnant woman should receive the vaccine because she is more likely to get an infection, as well as a higher risk of complications.

It is important that those around pregnant women, especially the husband, are vaccinated. As for nursing mothers, they can take the vaccine, and sometimes they have to.

- Why should pregnant women be vaccinated at a certain time?
The Vaccination Committee recommends that pregnant women be vaccinated during the second trimester of pregnancy, and Vojinsky says that this has no medical reasons. The vaccine is always safe as evidence that the pregnant woman is vaccinated if she is infected early.

- Is the flu dangerous to the fetus?
Voisinsky answers in the affirmative, because high fever increases the risk of premature birth and miscarriage, as well as the risk of supply disorders such as lack of oxygen.

He adds that vaccination of the mother is in the best interests of the fetus by lending antibodies, which entails better protection against influenza in the first few months of life of the child after birth.

- Should children be vaccinated?
The vaccination committee does not recommend this, or at least in the case of health risks from other diseases. According to the committee, influenza vaccine can be obtained from the age of six months. It is often the same vaccine dose as adults. There is also another vaccine for children given through the nose in case of fear of injections.

- After vaccination, am I protected from infection?
Vitkinhuer answers negatively because the vaccine does not affect 100% because the virus mutates from time to time. Under ideal conditions, the protective effect is about 80%.

- How often should I take the vaccine?
Only once a year, because vaccine protection fades over time, immunity lasts from 6 to 12 months. In addition, the influenza virus is highly mutated, resulting in a constantly changing vaccine composition.