The flu shot is available at all district health centres Monday to Friday from 2pm to 4pm.
Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccine
Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions. Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. For most people, symptoms last only a few days. They include fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, cough, headache, and muscle aches. Other illnesses can have the same symptoms and are often mistaken for influenza. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get flu and lessen the chance that you will transmit it to others.
Flu Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes. The 2023-2024 flu vaccine includes protection against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus, influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B.
No, the 2023-2024 flu vaccine is not meant to protect against COVID-19.
All persons, 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. It is especially important for people who are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or people who live with or care for them.
High-risk persons include:
- Young children 6 months to 4 years of age, but especially those under 2 years.
- Persons receiving long-term aspirin therapy.
- Pregnant women
- People 60 years of age and older.
- Persons with weakened immune systems and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart, kidney, and lung diseases and diabetes.
- Morbidly obese persons (BMI of 40 or greater).
- People living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- Persons with neurological disorders.
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, e.g.:
- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated).
The following persons should not be vaccinated without first consulting their physician:
- People who have had convulsions one year before vaccination.
- People who have had epileptic seizures.
- People who have severe allergy to chicken, neomycin octoxinol, chicken eggs or chicken components.
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccine in the past.
- People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine. People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated.
- Nursing mothers should inform their doctor or nurse that they are breastfeeding before taking the
The “flu vaccine” is administered in the Cayman Islands by injection, usually in the arm. The vaccine is approved for use among people 6 months of age or older, including healthy people and those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, kidney, or heart disease.
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the viruses that are in the vaccine. It takes up to 2 weeks for the protection to develop after receiving the vaccine. Protection lasts about one year.
The Public Health Department recommends that people get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Vaccination before December is best since this timing ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest.
Both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine can be given together. However, if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine less than 10 -14 days prior, you should wait before receiving the flu vaccine.
No. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. However, children aged 6 months to 8 years who are being vaccinated for the first time, need a second dose 4 weeks later to be protected. In the meantime, you are still at risk of getting the flu. That is why it’s better to get vaccinated early before the flu season really gets underway.
Flu Vaccine Schedule
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