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Vaccinations

Vaccinations


Flu Vaccinations

Bookings and walk-ins are welcome for most people aged 10 years or older. 

 

For some people the flu vaccination may not be appropriate, they include;

ˇ         those who currently have an illness resulting in a fever greater than or equal to 38.5oC

ˇ         those with a lowered immunity caused by either a medical condition or medical treatment

ˇ         those who have had a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis following a previous dose of the flu vaccine

ˇ         those with a history of Guillian Barré syndrome

ˇ         those with a bleeding disorder

ˇ         those with severe chronic diseases


If you are unsure about whether you or your family should get the flu vaccination, please contact our pharmacy.


Certain groups of people are high risk and may be eligible for a free flu vaccination under the Immunise Australia Program. If you fall into one of the below categories you can speak to your doctor about the program;

ˇ         Individuals aged 65 and over

ˇ         Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 and over

ˇ         Pregnant women

ˇ         Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long-term aspirin therapy

ˇ         Individuals aged 6 months and over with medical conditions who are more likely to experience complications from the flu, for example, those people with;

ˇ         Certain heart conditions and respiratory conditions (i.e. heart disease, asthma)

ˇ         Chronic illnesses requiring medical follow up or hospitalisation (i.e. diabetes)

ˇ         Chronic conditions affecting the nervous system (i.e. cystic fibrosis)

ˇ         Impaired immune function


No matter how fit and healthy you are, you can still get the flu. The flu can make you feel unwell for at least a week with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, headaches and muscle pain.

An annual flu vaccine is the best defence in helping you and your family fight the flu and stop the spread of the virus in the community.

The flu and a cold are different in terms of both symptom severity and duration. A cold usually has more nasal symptoms which can last a few days, whilst the flu can last up to 2 weeks and tends to cause higher fever and muscle pains and shivering. The flu can also lead to serious complications, particularly in children, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions such as lowered immunity or certain heart conditions.  

The flu is easily spread from person to person by airborne fluids when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can then infect someone through their eyes, nose or mouth. Surfaces such as door handles, pens and cups can also become contaminated by these fluids, potentially passing the flu virus onto the next person that comes into contact with them. 

 

There are a range of things that you can do to minimize the likelihood of getting the flu. The best defence is to get vaccinated each year. You should also ensure that you wash hands thoroughly and regularly or use hand sanitiser to reduce the spread of the flu.

The flu vaccine protects against four influenza viruses that will be the most common during the coming flu season. A few weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop in the body to provide protection against infection.

The flu virus is capable of changing each year causing different flu strains to circulate within the community. Your immunity will also decrease over time and therefore a flu vaccination is recommended each year to ensure you continue to protect your body against the flu.

The flu virus is capable of changing form at a very rapid rate, resulting in different strains circulating in the community each flu season. The influenza virus changes from year to year, and any previous flu vaccination may no longer be effective. Each year the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends which strain of the flu virus Australians should be immunised against to best protect themselves. Your immunity against the flu decreases over time, so it is important to be vaccinated against the new strains each year.

Your immune system takes time to actively defend against the flu, but protection normally starts 2 weeks after being vaccinated and then is at full defence after about 6 weeks. This protection normally continues through for a full year. The best time to be vaccinated is in mid- April to May to allow for full protection during the peak flu season of July to September.

 

Sources: The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition, Immunise Australia Program, Australian Government Department of Health: Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: What You Should Know for the 2015-20146 Influenza Season, World Health Organization: Influenza (seasonal)