The invitation for the seasonal flu vaccination will land on your doormat this autumn. The flu vaccination protects people who are more likely to become ill or seriously ill from flu because of their age or medical condition.
This year, the target group for the flu vaccination has been expanded. In addition to all people over the age of 60 and children and adults who are at additional risk of becoming seriously ill from flu, healthy pregnant women, people who are morbidly obese and people with epilepsy can also receive the vaccination for free this year. It is likely that not everyone in the new target group will automatically receive an invitation this autumn. For example, the general practitioner may not be aware of their medical condition. People who fall into one of the new groups but have not received an invitation can contact their GP between 1 October and 31 December. Most invitations will be delivered between 1 October and mid-November. Download this overview of the groups and more information (only in Dutch).
Vaccinating pregnant women
Vaccinating pregnant women against flu makes it possible to protect babies from the possibly serious consequences of flu right from birth. In addition, a flu vaccination also protects women themselves against flu.
How the flu vaccination works
Flu is a fairly innocent virus for many people. However, people over the age of 60 years and medical risk groups can become seriously ill as a result of flu. The flu vaccination offers the best protection against flu. The flu vaccination contains harmless small fragments of the flu virus. These prepare the immune system for a flu infection. As a result of the flu vaccination, people have an average of 30% less chance of getting flu. There is also a 40% lower risk of hospitalisation. The risk of infecting others also declines.
People aged 66 to 69 will also receive an invitation for a free pneumococcal vaccination this autumn. They can get this vaccination from their GP, often at the same time as the flu vaccination. The pneumococcal vaccination will be effective for a period of five years. The vaccination helps to prevent people from developing diseases caused by pneumococci. These are bacteria. One of the most common diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria in people over the age of 60 is pneumonia.