How well will a vaccination protect me?
No vaccine offers 100% protection. They can fail in two ways:
- primary failure, which is when the body doesn’t produce antibodies as well as expected in response to the vaccine.
- secondary failure, which is when the body produces the antibodies as expected but the protective antibody level in the blood falls over time.
Seasonal flu vaccination will prevent flu in 70–80% of those vaccinated and pneumococcal vaccination is effective in up to 70%. The shingles vaccination reduces the risk of shingles by around 50%.
If symptoms of flu or pneumococcal infection develop, there are effective treatments that can be used. However, it's still a good idea to take steps to reduce your risk of picking up infections.