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Flu shots-Who should get them and when

It’s the flu season again!

Vaccination is your best chance for protection against the flu, and it also helps protect the people around you who are not able to have a flu shot (such as babies aged less than 6 months).

Notifications of confirmed influenza have been much higher so far this year compared to the same period last year. So now is a very good time to think about getting a flu shot.

Strains of the flu change constantly, which is why we need a new vaccine every year to guard against this often-debilitating illness.

Who should get a flu shot?

All persons aged 6 months and older are recommended for annual vaccination, with rare exception. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk for serious flu complications.

Who is eligible for a Free influenza vaccine?

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza:

  • people aged 65 years and over (vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group)

  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age

  • all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions, namely:

  1. cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure

  2. chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma

  3. other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies

  4. chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders

  5. impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use

  • children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy. All people aged 65 years and over

  • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)

  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over

When should I get the flu shot?

Timing is everything, and NOW is the best time!

Immunity against the flu following vaccination does wear off after some time. Most people will develop immunity 2 to 3 weeks after their flu shot. And it provides the best protection against the flu within 3 to 4 months of being vaccinated.

Your GP can recommend the best time to get the flu shot based on your individual circumstances.

Please contact our team today to arrange your flu shot and help prevent flu this season.


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