I’m back! Sorry for the long hiatus. That’s because I was working on a very important project for the past 6 months. We took Baby J out of school yesterday so that we could all get the flu vaccine together. (Yes, Baby J has started playgroup! I will talk more about it in a separate post.) So, we got the flu vaccine earlier in the week, and I’m here with some information I’ve learnt in the process.
Why the Flu Vaccine?
The flu is caused by the influenza virus, and it can be unpleasant. For healthy individuals, it will clear up within a week. However, it can be quite severe and may even be fatal for those in risk groups, like:
- elderly people aged 65 years and older
- young children from 6 months to 5 years
- pregnant women
- anyone with a weakened immune system or a health condition
Sometimes, but rarely, the flu may cause complications on the health of the sufferer, like bronchitis and even meningitis.
The flu season typically starts from October, during the ‘cooler’ months. Since we will also be travelling to a cooler temperate country soon, we decided to go for the jab in advance. It’s actually our very first flu vaccine experience, and I learned a lot from it!
What I Learnt From Taking the Flu Vaccine
- It will only take effect after 2 weeks, so if you have any plans, make sure you take this into consideration.
- Taking the flu vaccine needs to be a yearly affair, as the viruses evolve very quickly. Make sure you get the latest vaccine.
- DO NOT get the flu vaccine if you’re allergic to eggs. If you’re sick on that day, reschedule your appointment. Also make sure that in the month prior to your jab appointment, you did not have another vaccination.
- If you’re planning to get the flu vaccine at the polyclinic, call their hotline and book an appointment. You will not be able to get an appointment through online means.
- Do also check what type of flu vaccination you’re getting from the clinic, and whether it is suitable for the country you’re travelling to (if you have travel plans). According to the WHO, there are two types of flu vaccine: Southern Hemisphere (SH) and Northern Hemisphere (NH). You may read up on their website about it. We got the SH flu vaccine, and I asked the nurse if it was suitable for London, where we will be going early next year, and she said it was ok!
- Be punctual for your polyclinic appointment. I booked mine at 9am, got my number ticket at 8.59am, and got my jab at 9.05am. It all happened really quickly!
- The arm which you receive your vaccination on will be really REALLY sore, so make sure you get the flu vaccine on your left arm (or if you’re left-handed, get it on the right)!
- If it’s your child’s first time getting the flu vaccine, they will need a second dose one month later. Be sure to check with the doctor or nurse at the clinic about this. Baby J got his vaccination on his left thigh, and has booked an appointment for his second dose next month!
- People in risk groups may utilise their Medisave to pay for the vaccination. Be sure to check at the payment counter at the polyclinic if they are able to charge it to your Medisave account. (They are the ones doing the final charge, so they will have the final say.) For children, they may use their parent’s or guardian’s Medisave to pay for the flu vaccine. We paid for Baby J’s vaccination using Papa’s Medisave!
- We each paid $32 nett for the flu vaccine. My hubby is a PR, while I’m a Singapore citizen, and we still paid the same rate. Before that, I’d thought he’d be paying a slightly different rate.
- I had flu-like symptoms the same day I received my vaccination, and they lasted for two days. The rest of my family (including Baby J) were totally fine. So the side effects totally depends on one’s body and immune system.
Go Get Your Flu Vaccine!
There are many compelling reasons to get your vaccination! I hate being sick, especially now that I have Baby J to care for. I’m also sure no one likes being sick. Since Baby J is also in playgroup, the risk of catching a virus is also higher than if he were at home.
Complications from getting the flu vaccine is extremely rare. But if you’re getting a high fever or severe allergic reactions, be sure to head straight to a doctor or A&E!
All in all, getting the flu shot is well worth it, and I highly recommend getting it! 🙂