The influenza virus causes the flu, which can be dangerous for young children, the elderly and people with existing health conditions.
There are many different strains of flu. Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) assesses which strains of flu are likely to be circulating during the following winter. They are then able to advise which three strains of flu the vaccines should target that year. These vaccines are then used across the globe to protect those people most at risk.
Pneumococcus can lead to pneumonia – a severe lung infection. Anyone can be affected by this type of pneumonia but infants under the age of 2 years, adults aged over 65 years and people with lung diseases are most at risk. There are two types of vaccine available to protect against pneumonia.
Whooping cough vaccine
Children are usually given a vaccine against whooping cough during the first year of life with a booster between 5–10 years of age. Since the vaccine was introduced, rates of this infectious disease have been dramatically reduced across Europe. Experts estimate that the vaccine provides protection to children for approximately 5–10 years.