In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the coming months will also mark the peak season of influenza, typically call “flu”. Flu is an acute infectious disease which occurs year-round, but often is more prevalent in winter and spring. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, a runny nose, sore throat, and cough. According to doctors, if you contract both seasonal flu and COVID-19 simultaneously, your risk of death will increase many times. In addition, preventing seasonal flu also contributes to reducing the medical burden in isolating, screening, and testing for COVID-19 on influenza patients.
The main causative agent of the disease is influenza A(H3N2), influenza A(H1N1), influenza B and C viruses. The disease is highly infectious, spreading rapidly through the respiratory tract through droplets or nasopharyngeal secretions from sneezing or coughing. Seasonal influenza virus strains have the ability to survive for a long time in the outside environment and can live for up to 48 hours on surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, chairs and cabinets. The virus is able to survive in clothing for up to 12 hours, and for five minutes in the palm of your hand.
Influenza usually has a mild course of illness with most patients recovering within two to seven days, but for children, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs or kidneys, metabolic diseases and anaemia, or who are immunocompromised, the flu can progress more seriously, with greater likelihood of complications and even death if the disease is not detected and treated promptly.
Previously, seasonal flu vaccines in Vietnam could only prevent three strains of influenza virus, but now the new seasonal flu vaccine manufactured by Abbott (Netherlands) and Sanofi Pasteur (France) currently offered at FV hospital can help to protect against up to four strains of influenza virus, including Influenza A strains H1N1, Influenza A H3N2, and two strains of wild type B Influenza (Yamagata and Victoria). The vaccines are indicated for children from six months of age, and adults, especially those at high risk of complications of the disease.
Because the flu virus is always developing new variants, and the body’s immune response gradually declines after a year, it’s essential to get a flu shot every year. A vaccinated person who gets the flu may have a milder illness or shorter illness, reduced risk of hospitalisation, and much lower risk of death than an unvaccinated individual.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), influenza vaccination has been shown to reduce influenza-related illness by 60 per cent and reduce influenza mortality by 70 to 80 per cent. The most effective way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a booster shot every year or at the beginning of the winter outbreak season.
The WHO recommends that the following risk groups should be prioritised for seasonal flu vaccination while the COVID-19 pandemic remains complicated:
- Healthcare workers: recommended as one of the highest priority groups to receive flu vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the spread of influenza from healthcare workers to susceptible patients and reduce the burden on healthcare systems.
- Pregnant women
- People over 65 years old.
- People with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, asthma and chronic heart or lung disease. This group should be given priority to get the flu shot to protect them against flu and to reduce the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 during their influenza treatment.
- Children, especially children from six months to two years old.
Currently, FV offers two types of flu vaccines:
- Influvac Tetra 0.5ml (manufactured by Abbott, made in the Netherlands) for adults and children
- Vaxigrip Tetra 0.5ml (manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, made in France) for adults and Vaxigrip Tetra 0.25ml for children
What’s the difference between getting a flu shot at FV Hospital:
- Our team of doctors and care providers are specialised in screening for all health issues.
- Before approving a child to receive a vaccination, doctors will prescribe immunisation regimens, follow-ups and general care.
- All vaccinated clients are monitored for 30 minutes after vaccination, and their condition is re-evaluated before they leave the hospital
- The vaccination room is cool, clean and quiet.
- FV uses high quality vaccines with clear provenance which are stored correctly from purchase through to transportation and use, ensuring that they are always safe and effective
How to register for flu vaccine at FV?
Customers can register directly at the General Practice Department and Paediatric Department for advice about vaccines and appointment referrals.
Once you have selected your shots, you will answer vaccination questionnaires, see your doctor, complete the billing process, and go to the clinic.
Pregnant women must be assessed by an obstetrician and be registered at FV’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Flu vaccines at FV Hospital are priced from 816,000 VND to 879,000 VND (inclusive of doctor consultation and vaccination fee).(*)
To book appointment, please contact: (028) 5411 3333
General Practice Department – Ext: 1329
Paediatrics Department – Ext: 4433
Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department – Ext: 6000
(*) All prices are subject to change without prior notice