Flu Vaccines 2019
Influenza is a highly contagious disease, with risk of serious health complications. Flu seasons vary in severity and are unpredictable. However, what we do know is that vaccination is the most important measure we have to prevent Flu and its complications.
Annual vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age and older. The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely that the flu will spread in the community. The bacteria are easily spread by coughing, sneezing, or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth or nose. Good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of flu and other infections. It is also important to get the flu shot each year as the virus changes and protection diminishes over time. Most people will develop immunity within 2 to 3 weeks of vaccination, with immunisation recommended from mid April.
It is never to late to get the Flu vaccine.
Under the Australian National Immunisation Program, the following groups can receive a free flu vaccine.
- pregnant women
- children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- people 65 years and older
- Aboriginal individuals 6 months and older
- people 6 months and older with medical conditions that put them at risk of severe flu, including
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- chronic respiratory conditions
- chronic illnesses that require regular medical attention or hospitalisation
- chronic neurological conditions
- impaired immunity
- children aged 6 months to 10 years receiving long-term aspirin therapy
Flu vaccines are also available for $15 from Ranford Medical Centre if you do not qualify for a free Government vaccine. Simply call in to the surgery, no appointment necessary.
Flu Vaccines are safe and children worldwide have been vaccinated against the flu for many years. Common side effects include
- low-grade fever
- muscle aches
- soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site
These symptoms normally occur soon after you receive the vaccine and can last 1 to 2 days. They usually resolve without requiring specific treatment.
More serious reactions are possible, but are rare. If you or someone in your care experiences a severe reaction to the vaccine after you have left the clinic, call an ambulance (000) or go to a hospital emergency department immediately. Severe symptoms may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, pale complexion, coughing, hives or losing consciousness. You will be required to wait for 15 minutes after receiving your vaccine before leaving the surgery to monitor for any reactions.
For more information about the influenza vaccine, speak to your GP or visit www.health.gov.au/immunisation