Vaccination continues to provide the best form of defence against seasonal influenza. Following the latest recommendation from the Department of Health, we will be commencing flu clinics from mid April this year, to enable the highest level of protection. These clinics will continue to run throughout the influenza season.
Each year a seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine is developed to protect you against the most common strains of flu for that year. The flu can be very serious leading to complications such as pneumonia, myocarditis (inflammation of heart), neurological conditions and other bacterial infections.
As the strains of flu virus can change from year to year, receiving a flu vaccine every year ensures you are protected against the current flu virus strain.
We are holding a number of government funded clinics for influenza vaccinations. Provided you are eligible, there is no cost to you. Please ask at reception to book your appointment.
Eligibility criteria is:
- everyone aged 65 years and over – new age specific influenza vaccines available
- all pregnant women (including those in the first trimester)
- all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 15 years of age and over
- people six months of age or older with the following underlying chronic medical conditions:
- cardiac disease
- chronic respiratory conditions including severe asthma
- other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, for example diabetes, chronic renal (kidney) failure, chronic metabolic disease and haemoglobinopathies
- chronic neurological conditions that may impact on respiratory function
- including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders and other neuromuscular disorders
- people with impaired immunity, including HIV infection, malignancy and chronic steroid use
- children on long term aspirin therapy
Although not free, the seasonal flu vaccine is also strongly recommended for:
- health care workers
- anyone who works in a nursing home or long term care facility
- anyone who lives in a household with a person who is in a high risk category
- people providing essential services (police and ambulance officers)
- staff working in early childhood education and care
- anyone providing care to homeless people
- workers in other industries (corporations wishing to reduce absenteeism in the work force)
- anyone five years of age or over who wishes to reduce the likelihood of getting the flu
Children six months of age up to less than nine years of age receiving the flu vaccine for the first time will need to receive two doses one month apart, to ensure an adequate immune response is produced. This will ensure the child is protected and help prevent infection.
There are specific flu vaccine brands and doses recommended for children. Speak to your doctor or practice nurse for further information.
If you are not eligible for a free vaccine you can we have a supply of private stock available at a cost of $20. These can be given by your doctor or one of our practice nurses, please call 8550 2000 to make an appointment.
Please note we are unable to administer vaccines prescribed by a doctor outside of this practice.