Flu Shots18 March 2014
We now have stocks of influenza vaccine available.
The vaccine covers the 3 strains of 'flu most likely to cause infections in the 2014 winter.
Your vaccine cost is $18 plus Dr Consultation.
The vaccine will be free of charge for the following groups:
■ all pregnant women
■ all person 65 years of age or older
■ all Aboriginal Australians aged 15 years and older
■ all individuals aged six months and older with medical conditions predisposing to severe influenza,
– cardiac disease
– chronic respiratory conditions
– chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the preceding year
– chronic neurological conditions
– people with impaired immunity
– children aged six months to 10 years receiving long term aspirin therapy.
How is flu spread?
- through the air when someone coughs, sneezes or talks
- by touching something that has the virus on it and then touching your nose, eyes or mouth
Symptoms of flu most commonly include a fever combined with a cough and/or sore throat.
Other symptoms may include:
- runny or congested nose
- muscle or joint aches and pains
Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea have also been reported, particularly in children.
Several flu virus strains circulate every year in Australia. Flu usually causes mild illness in most people. However, some people are more likely to develop severe illness from flu.
People who are at increased risk of severe illness from flu
Some people are more likely to develop severe illness from seasonal flu and human swine flu. They include:
- pregnant women
- young children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- people aged 65 years of age and older
- Aboriginal Australians older than 15 years of age
- very obese people
- people with underlying medical conditions including:
- heart disease
- chronic respiratory conditions
- chronic diseases requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the past year, including diabetes
- chronic neurological conditions
- people with weakened immune systems, which may be caused by cancers, HIV/AIDS or certain medications
If you are in one of the groups above, you:
- are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against flu
- should seek medical attention if you develop flu symptoms
Protecting yourself from flu
Vaccination is voluntary, but everyone is encouraged to get a yearly vaccine. See vaccination for information about the vaccines and where to get vaccinated.
Good personal hygiene will also help prevent the spread of flu.
If you are travelling
If you are travelling overseas, you should check Smartraveller.gov.au (external site) for updates and travel advisories. Travellers should consider getting vaccinated against flu before going to countries where the flu virus is active.
Always wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with people who have flu-like symptoms, after coughing, sneezing, going to the toilet, and before eating.