Most people recover from seasonal influenza infections within a week. However, influenza can cause serious complications in some high risk groups.
In 2013/14, the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases recommends the following target groups for seasonal influenza vaccination in Hong Kong:
- Pregnant women;
- Elderly persons living in residential care homes;
- Long-stay residents of institutions for the disabled;
- Persons aged 50 years or above;
- Persons with chronic medical problems including obesity individuals with body mass index (BMI) 30 or above;
- Children between the age of 6 months and less than 6 years;
- Health care workers;
- Poultry workers; and
- Pig farmers and pig-slaughtering industry personnel.
Given influenza vaccines are safe and effective and that serious influenza infection can occur even in healthy individuals, influenza vaccination is suitable for personal protection against clinical influenza for all persons except those with known contraindications. Members of the public can consult their family doctors to receive influenza vaccination for personal protection.
In Hong Kong, influenza is usually more common in periods from January to March and from July to August. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body. Get vaccinated early to ensure protection.