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  • Writer's pictureDr Majella Soumakiyan

Flu vaccination

We understand now more than ever the importance of precaution, especially with regard to highly contagious viral infections that can cause illness and sadly death in some cases.. Influenza or the flu is one such infection and is typically prevented through the management of

symptoms as well as vaccination.

The Australian Government recommends the flu vaccine to all persons above the age of six months and certain people are eligible to free vaccines provided by the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Those who are not eligible need not worry, as they can easily get a private flu vaccine from various clinics.

What is important, however, is that all persons who can receive the flu shot, do so. To better understand the importance of vaccination, one must know how influenza affects us and the protection offered by the flu shot.

The flu, which is different to a common cold, can change every year as there are different strains of the influenza virus. The flu can lead to conditions like bronchitis, pneumonia, heart and other organ damage including brain inflammation. It can also result in death.

Influenza symptoms

The symptoms of influenza include a runny nose or sneezing, cough or sore throat, fever and chills, headache, and body aches. While vomiting and diarrhoea are also symptoms, they are more common in children.

It is one to three days after catching the flu that an individual starts showing symptoms and these can last a week or more. If you notice influenza symptoms, you need to talk to your general practitioner as some people can become seriously ill while others are only mildly affected.

The flu can affect people of all ages, which is why the flu shot is recommended for anyone above six months of age. However, there are certain groups that are at a higher risk of being hospitalised. This includes babies, people over 65 years, pregnant women, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

People with long-term medical conditions as well as people who have weakened immune systems, people who are obese, and people who smoke are also at higher risk.

Those who are not vaccinated against influenza are also at risk of being hospitalised.

Treatment and vaccination

There are many avenues of treatment for flu. As with other deceases, prevention and risk mitigation are preferred compared to cure.

Given the seriousness of influenza, it is recommended that people get vaccinated against it. This protects the vaccinated individual as well as other people, especially those who are too sick or young to be vaccinated.

The National Immunisation Program provides the annual flu shot for free to certain individuals. Persons eligible for the free vaccine include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and over, children aged six months to five years, people aged six months or over who have medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of getting serious disease, pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, and people aged 65 years or over.

Private flu shot

If you are not eligible for the free flu shot provided by NIP, you have the option of a private influenza vaccine. If you do not have an immunisation provider, you can ask your general practitioner and they will recommend the best services for you.

We at Raby Medical offer by the government funded and private vaccines.

Covid vaccine and flu vaccine

If you recently got vaccinated against COVID-19, it is recommended that you wait at least 15 days until you get your flu shot. There is no preference for the order in which you need to administer these two types of vaccine.

If you have any other concerns about getting vaccinated while taking medications or treatment, it is best to consult a general practitioner.

How do I make a booking for the vaccines

If you would like to take your flu vaccine at Raby Medical Centre, please use the below links or call the reception to book your appointments

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