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Health ministry urges vulnerable groups to get flu shot

people receive booster dose of coronavirus disease (covid 19) vaccine in antwerp
File Photo

The health ministry of Wednesday called on the public and vulnerable groups in particular to get the flu vaccine.

Administered by GPs, the vaccine is available for free.

Individuals above the age of 65 and children aged between six and 15 months are high risk groups that are advised to take the vaccine, the ministry noted.

Additionally, people with long-term health issues with their lungs or heart, people with asthma, organ transplants, sickle cell disease, diabetes, morbid obesity, chronic kidney disease and liver disease, neuromuscular or neurological diseases and the immunosuppressed are high risk groups which would benefit from the vaccine.

Pregnant women, individuals who take aspirin on a long-term basis, health professionals, caregivers of people with an underlying illness, professionals who come into contact with animals as well people who work in schools, police and army academies and the armed forces are encouraged to take the vaccine.

According to the health ministry, most healthy people can overcome the flu without any consequences. Vulnerable groups however are at greater risk of complications.

The flu usually appears in small numbers in the end of winter and peaks around January and February.

Currently, due to measures against Covid-19, the public is more vulnerable to the cold, the health ministry added, and the flu has been seen earlier than compared to before the pandemic.

The health ministry stressed the flu vaccine is safe and effective. Unwanted side effects are relatively rare and mild, it added.

 

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