COVID-19, monkeypox and the flu: Time to get vaccinated

After almost three years of living with COVID-19 it’s not easy to stick to the necessary precautionary measures. But they are just as important now as on day one. And then there is that other winter health topic – influenza. Here are a few important facts about getting vaccinated.

Getting vaccinated

The best way to lower the risk of getting sick and reducing the risk of severe symptoms is a vaccination. The companies that are producing these vaccines are constantly working to update them. Vaccines customized for the newest variant have a high chance to prevent infection; yet, these vaccines may only be available later in time. Even if the virus continuously mutates, the currently available vaccines provide a high level of protection from severe illness. The best possible prevention of severe illness is most important. Even if it is not mandatory by law, using masks in closed environments (e.g. transport, or venues packed with many people), keeping distance, and increase ventilation are still important measures to protect yourself and others.

There are still concerns in the public about side effects of vaccinations. What we all should know is that the body always reacts to a vaccination as the immune system is activated. It starts working to build your protection. This can lead to typical symptoms such as sore arm, fatigue, headaches, light fever. That’s perfectly normal. Still – it is important to inform your care team if you experience significant side effects.



Let’s talk about the Corona pandemic first.

We sometimes think that Corona is primarily a problem during the winter – but it is a full year challenge as we could see this summer. To continue precaution measures, get vaccinated and refresh the vaccination if recommended by our physicians.

Keep in mind: just like other viruses, SARS-COV-19 keeps changing. The new strains of the virus are much more transmissible than earlier versions. In other words: it’s easier to catch it.


Flu season

While we all keep thinking and talking about COVID-19, we sometimes tend to forget about the flu. But just because influenza is not at the top of our minds it doesn’t mean that it’s not there anymore. So – is it a good idea to get a flu shot as well? Yes of course! But make sure that you discuss this with a physician first. All vaccines are designed to immunize against a specific health threat. Which means that only an influenza vaccination can help against influenza viruses. The flu can be just as severe as COVID-19 in its present mutation, and the both keep changing. That’s why we need a new influenza vaccination every year and stimulate the immune system to be activated and ready to fight a potential infection.



Just when we thought that the COVID-19 pandemic is getting better we are faced with another health threat: monkeypox. It’s a virus-caused disease that is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact. Additionally, the virus can be passed on between humans, if the same object or fabric is touched. People can transmit the virus to others as soon as they experience symptoms and are considered infectious until the disease is healed. People who contract monkeypox typically develop a highly infectious painful and itchy rash that looks like pimples. Other symptoms can include fever, chills, general feeling of tiredness, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, headache or respiratory symptoms.


Reduce infection risk

In order to reduce the risk of infection, it is important to avoid physical contact with other people, particularly if people have an undiagnosed rash. After touching door handles or other objects in public spaces, please perform hand hygiene immediately. If you experience symptoms or have been in contact with the virus, please avoid contact with other people as much as possible, until you have been tested.

For your dialysis treatment, please inform the clinic in advance in case you suspect or have contracted the virus, so the clinic team can organize your treatment accordingly. Currently, there is no monkeypox-specific vaccination available. A vaccination against smallpox has been proven to be the best-possible vaccination to reduce the risk of severe disease.


Consult your care team

Before getting vaccinated, be sure to have a conversation with your care team. They will give you all important information and answer your questions about possible side effects. Do your best to stay away from viruses this winter. Get vaccinated.