Like every year, outbreaks of seasonal flu will begin to appear in the next few weeks.
The flu represents a danger mainly for impaired individuals, in particular the elderly as well as patients suffering from chronic respiratory or heart disorders.
However, the virus, which develops quickly, is currently likely to affect a large percentage of the population.
This has resulted in France adding pregnant women (as from the second quarter of their pregnancy) the obese and patients suffering from coronary affections to the high-risk group and for whom the flu vaccine is covered 100%.
In the Principality of Monaco, out of concern for public health, the Social Funds of Monaco have decided that all insured persons and their beneficiaries are entitled to receive full reimbursement for this vaccine.
Furthermore, the over-65s, the disabled or those suffering from a long-term illness will receive a personal vaccination voucher urging them to get their jab.
The vaccine, which has been available in chemists for a few days now, will protect you against the flu virus for the 2011/2012 season. The vaccination is the only protection against this disease.
By getting vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself against flu or reducing its effects, but also preventing others from becoming contaminated.
To be effective, the vaccination needs to be administered prior to the circulation of the flu viruses (generally from the end of October) so that the body is able develop its anti-bodies and protect itself.
The flu vaccination guarantees protection for one year and therefore needs to be renewed on a yearly basis. The vaccine has very few side effects (local pain, flu-type reaction which disappears in 1 to 2 days).
There are few contraindications other than acute infections but you should consult your GP who will prescribe the vaccine.