Influenza is a potentially dangerous illness
that may cause hospitalisation and even death under rare circumstances. Every
flu season is unique, and each influenza infection varies from person to
person. Despite this, millions of people catch the flu each year, hundreds of
thousands are hospitalised, and thousands to tens of thousands suffer from
flu-related diseases. The best way to avoid flu is to get the yearly seasonal
influenza vaccination, which has been shown to dramatically lower the incidence
Other than that, because influenza and
COVID-19 infection have several similarities, in terms of flu-like symptoms,
affecting the respiratory system, both are contagious, and may result in
varying degrees of disease severity. Hence, it is quite difficult to
distinguish from one another without doing relevant diagnostic testing.
However, because each infection and disease is caused by a distinct virus,
various vaccinations and treatment regimens are available for each infection
What Are The
Advantages Of Getting Influenza Vaccination?
Influenza vaccine, also known as the flu shot,
enhances the immunity and provides protection against the influenza viruses.
However, the influenza vaccination does not protect against the coronavirus,
SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 pandemic. It has also been shown that it does
not increase your risk of getting COVID-19 infection, nor does it exacerbate
any presenting illnesses.
However, receiving influenza vaccines enables
medical practitioners and physicians to rule out other illnesses, such as
influenza infections, and save vital medical resources for those in priorities
such as severe COVID-19. As a result of these efforts, the mortality rate will
certainly be reduced.
Influenza vaccine is also able to reduce the
risk of flu-related hospitalisation in children, high risk working-age adults,
and the elderly. It is particularly important for those in these categories
because they are more prone to get a more severe form of influenza illness. The
reason being is high exposure to the viruses, immunocompromised, degeneration
or immature immunity will have insufficient response and immune reaction
against the influenza infection. Vaccination is able to boost and cover-up for
What Can I Do If The Influenza Vaccine Is Not Available Where
Because most countries can only offer the
influenza vaccination in limited numbers, WHO recommends prioritising the
high-risk groups, beginning with health-care professionals and the elderly.
Some nations may have been unable to obtain the vaccination this year due to
COVID-19 Pandemic. Nonetheless, here in Malaysia the influenza vaccination is
also available as a self-support option and not mandatory by the government or
Ministry of Health (MOH). You may receive it in government clinics, hospitals,
some private clinics or hospitals with a relatively cost-friendly pricing.
Whether or not you are able to obtain the
influenza vaccination, you may still reduce your risks of contracting or
transmitting influenza by implementing the same public health and social
strategies as per suggested for COVID-19:
Maintain self hygiene by washing
your hands frequently with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer containing
at least 60% alcohol.
Maintain a good social distance of
at least one metre between yourself and others, and wear a medical certified
mask if this is not practicable.
Cover your nose and mouth while
coughing and sneezing to practise respiratory etiquette.
Seek medical attention if you
experience any respiratory problems, especially if you are in the high-risk
If you are ill, or if you have
come into contact with infectious persons, separate and quarantine yourself to
prevent spreading the virus infections.
What If I Did
Not Receive The Influenza Vaccine?
As mentioned, the influenza vaccination is
good to have measures but not mandatory in Malaysia immunization settings. It
is also not the priority in the current COVID-19 pandemic. The treatment and
outcome for influenza is far better than COVID-19 infection as well.
Fortunately, we have a wholesome strategy for jenis vaksin covid 19 in Malaysia. Although
the influenza vaccines are not always available and do not provide protection
against the coronavirus or COVID-19, the Covid 19 vaccination is the alternative
option. There are up to 5 Covid 19 vaccine manufacturers readily available in
Malaysia and being distributed in phases. More are coming in future. Hopefully
it is able to provide protection against the COVID-19 for all Malaysians as
soon as possible, free from the threats of COVID-19 pandemic.