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The single best way to protect yourself from the influenza virus is to get a flu vaccination every year. Influenza can be a very serious medical condition, sometimes even leading to hospitalisation. If it progresses into pneumonia, vulnerable patients can die from the disease. Because of these alarming facts, it is crucial that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself from the disease. One of the most effective methods of protection against the virus is to get a flu vaccination. If you’re questioning the benefits of getting immunised, then read this article for some much-needed affirmation.

 

How is it made?

Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) holds a conference with leading experts regarding the composition and structure of next year’s flu vaccination. Because of this, every year you are actually being immunised with a strain that is different from the previous year. These experts assess current trends in the virus to ascertain which strains of the virus will be more common in the next season.

Following the conference, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee convene with the Therapeutic Good Administration to finalise the composition of the Australian immunisation lung foundation. Once this has been finalised, the immunisation formula can finally be made. There are three different types of immunisation production:

Egg-based immunisations

This is the most form of flu vaccination production. The process begins with candidate viruses grown in eggs. These are then injected into a fertilised hen’s eggs, before being incubated for several days. This allows the virus to replicate. The virus fluid is then harvested from the eggs.

Cell-based immunisations

A flu vaccination can also be created using a cell-based process. The cell-based method does not require chicken eggs (like the egg-based method), instead using animal cells as a host to grow the virus and the immunisation. After the virus is incubated in the animal cell for several days, it can then be harvested.

Recombinant immunisations

The last method used to create immunisations is known as recombinant technology. In this process, manufacturers will isolate a certain gene from a naturally occurring virus. The gene is these combined with portions of another virus that will grow effectively in insect cells. Finally, the “recombinant” virus is mixed with the insect cell, allowing it to be replicated in these cells. The protein is then harvested and purified from these cells.

 

How does it work?

Once injected into the body, the immunisation causes antibodies to develop within approximately 2 weeks after the injection. These antibodies serve as a form of protection against the infection.

 

Who should be getting immunised?

woman getting a vaccination

Everyone over the age of 6 months should be receiving a flu vaccination every season. This is because some people are at a very high risk of contracting the disease and developing more serious complications. The immunisation protects not only the person who has been immunised but the rest of society, as it collectively acts as a way of minimising the spread of the infection.

 

Are they safe?

The flu vaccination in Australia is incredibly safe, since all immunisations are thoroughly tested before they are approved for public use. Not only that, the immunisations are monitored thereafter to ensure that safety is maintained. Mercury has not been used as a preservative in any Australian immunisations since 2000. Even then, there is no definitive scientific evidence to suggest that the presence of mercury caused any harmful effects in children or adults who received the flu vaccination.

At the end of the day, there is a lot of evidence supporting the effective use of immunisations in preventing the spread of unwanted diseases and illness. If you’re concerned, get immunised today!