Colds and flu

Updated 05 October 2017

Beating those flu blues

It takes the immune system about six to eight weeks to respond to flu vaccination.

This means that the best time to be vaccinated against the flu is in mid-March to the end of May – before the flu season starts. Should you be vaccinated?

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Most people benefit from the vaccination, but some need it more than others. These include: people aged 65 or older, especially if they are living in a retirement home; anyone with a heart problem; anyone with a respiratory problem, such as asthma or emphysema; anyone with a chronic illness such as anaemia, diabetes or kidney failure; those whose immunity is suppressed, including persons with HIV infection; children and teenagers (6 months to 18 years) on long-term aspirin therapy; women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy; and caregivers and close contacts of any of the above.

Read more: Practical steps in preventing the transmission of flu


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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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