Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications and is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over. While it is true that the flu vaccine won’t combat COVID-19, it does help to reduce the severity and spread of seasonal influenza, which can lower a person’s immunity and make them more susceptible to other illnesses.
Who should get vaccinated for the flu?
The Australian Government recommends everyone aged six months and over get immunised against seasonal flu.
Influenza is the most common preventable disease in Australia, and while it tends to cause mild symptoms, it can also cause very serious illness in otherwise healthy people — and lead to hospitalisation and even death.
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect yourself, and people who get vaccinated are at lower risk of getting an infection (and developing serious disease) than those who do not.
The benefits go beyond the individual, too. Getting a flu shot also means you help to protect others, including those who are too sick or too young to be vaccinated, as well as vulnerable groups such as babies, people over 65 years, and pregnant women.
The more people who are vaccinated in the community, the less likely the flu will spread.
Who can get the flu shot for free?
Under the Federal Government’s National Immunisation Program, there are some people that are eligible for a free flu vaccine because they are most at risk of poor outcomes. This includes:
- Children aged six months to five years
- Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
- People aged 65 years and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- People aged six months and over with medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of flu complications (e.g. those with diabetes, severe asthma, lung or heart disease)
Who can give me the flu vaccine?
You can make an appointment with your GP to have the flu shot administered. We can organise the vaccine for free for eligible people under the Government Immunisation Program. For those who are not eligible for the free vaccine we can supply it for you and only charge the cost price of $16.40, we bulk bill the consultation.
When should I get the vaccination?
The timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during the peak of the influenza season. Flu season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August.
Vaccinating from April provides protection before the peak season takes place. While protection is generally expected to last for the whole season, the best protection against influenza occurs within the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.
It is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round. Vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating and a valid vaccine (before expiration date) is available.
It is also important to remember that the vaccine is not immediately effective and it generally takes 10 to 14 days to be fully protected.
Please phone us on 07 3806 0077 to make an appointment – make sure you tell the nurse you want to book for the vaccination.