Dramatic as it may sound it’s true.
Aside from the side benefits of meeting fellow parent bloggers like Jenni, Mauie, Beth, Jeff, Naomi, Nitz, and Dine with their kids, I was able to get a free anti-flu vaccine for myself, which will cost me around P1,500 to 2,300 per shot if I’ll get it somewhere else. What a treat right? I get to be healthy and protected and at the same time I get to save thousands of pesos!
They asked me to bring my daughter but because I was having apprehensions whether the vaccine will cause complications or conflict with the mood suppressant medicine my daughter is taking (for her seizures) I opt not to bring her and consult with her pediatrician first and the experts who will be present at the seminar.
Dr. Ruby Mendoza-Dizon, Medical Director of Sanofi Pasteur Phils., and the one who conducted the lecture about influenza, assured me that the anti-flu vaccine will not cause any complications with anyone taking special medications. In fact the vaccine is highly recommend for those with certain chronic medical conditions like those who are asthmatic, diabetic and those who are under treatment for their kidney and liver diseases.
Senior citizens (50 years and above) , children 6 months to five years , health care workers and everyone who has children around the house or working with children should also get the vaccine.
Dr. Mendoza-Dizon said everyone should get the vaccine unless you are proven to be allergic of eggs. “Those who can tolerate small amounts of egg (like able to eat Palabok, which is known to have egg as an ingredient) can get the vaccine. It means they are not really allergic to eggs.” she said.
“Why eggs you ask. It’s because the vaccine is cultivated inside the egg so it is likely the vaccine has some egg contents in it,” the doctor explained.
I know some of you would ask is an anti-flu vaccine really important? Not everyone gets the flu shot and survived. But did you know that influenza is the 5th leading cause of death here in the Philippines and that is just a moderate estimate since our health statistics here in the country is not that active.
Influenza is not just a simple cold with fever we are so used to and easily survive after getting enough rest, self-medication with the over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol.
The difference with the is the symptom is more severe, aside from the fever ranging from 38 to 40 degree Celsius, runny nose and soar-throat, aching muscles and joints, dry cough, restless sleep, chills and shivering, headache, a person inflicted with flu will feel very weak to be able to function normally, there is also a chance to vomit or have diarrhea that causes dehydration.
Although there was no proof yet Dr. Mendoza-Dizon contemplated a link between the deaths declared to be complications of pneumonia, one of the leading cause of death in the country today. Since flu attacks someone with a weak immune system and pneumonia is infections and complications of the respiratory system. Come to think of it I remember my doctor told me my dad died because of complications in the lungs including pneumonia so I was thinking maybe there was really a link.
“Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes,” the doctor said which means flu is indeed life threatening.
However, there are ways to prevent getting infected with the flu like having a well balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate rest, a good hygiene, and isolating yourself with those who are exhibiting the symptom.
But since influenza is a contagious respiratory viral illness that can hit you at any given time and is not treatable with antibiotics, getting an anti-flu vaccine is the single best way to protect you from the virus each year.
Why each year? There are two reasons, first because flu viruses change from year to year which means you can get the flu more than once during your lifetime so the immunity that you had from having the flu caused by one strain doesn’t always provide protection when a new strain comes.
Second, a vaccine made against flu viruses circulating last year may no longer protect against the new viruses that will circulate this year. That is why the vaccine is updated every year.
The best time to get the anti-flu shot is preferably from February to June here in the Philippines. “The Southern Hemisphere vaccine which is made available starting February of each year is recommended to cover the expected increase in influenza activity from June to November,” Dr. Mendoza-Dizon said.
Vaxigrip, the one they used for us in the seminar is on of the best anti-flu vaccine available today, that is proven safe and effective and has less adverse effects unlike other brands.(Adverse effects may include fever and soreness of the arms where the vaccine was injected)
However don’t expect to get protected right away, the vaccine would need two weeks to take effect before the antibodies will work. So it is important to get a vaccinated as early as possible.
I was impressed with Ms. Beth, the one who gave us the shot. I had vaccines in the past, and I must admit I am afraid of needles. However, she did it so well and I didn’t feel that much pain or soreness of my arms unlike before.
My journey together with other parents and kids to be get the vaccine and be immunized:
Now the other kids are afraid!
The mommies, daddies, kids and Nuffies are now protected from flu!