Health Hub

Cold and Flu

Do I need to get a flu shot every year?

The Government strongly recommend all age groups have a yearly vaccination to maintain immunity and to promote ‘herd’ immunity. Immunity from the flu virus is not long lasting and flu virus strains may change from year to year. Flu is a highly contagious virus and potentially life threatening to those at risk.

Is the flu shot safe?

The flu shot is safe for adults, children over 6 months, pregnant women (at all stages of pregnancy) and the elderly.

When should I have the flu vaccination?

Vaccinating from April provides the best protection for the flu season. It takes 10-14 days to be fully protected. Peak influenza season is from June to September each year.

How do I book?

You can ring the practice and Reception will make you an appropriate appointment with either your doctor or the nurse (depending on your doctor’s preference). Alternatively book online using our ‘Flu Vaccine’ option and the first available GP/Nurse will give the vaccination.

There are 3 options dependent on your eligibility:

a) Government Funded: 65 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those meeting ‘at risk’ medical criteria

  • Three strain – Supercharged vaccine designed specifically for this group
  • B\Colorado is not included as it causes the least issues for this group
  • This vaccine cannot be purchased by anyone privately nor given to anyone not meeting age or medical criteria
  • Doctor’s visit bulk-billed with a valid Medicare card
  • No fee for the vaccine
  • Available soon

b) Government Funded: 6 months to under 5 years

  • Four strain vaccine
  • Supercharged not necessary for this age group
  • Doctors visit bulk-billed with a valid Medicare card
  • No fee for the vaccine
  • Available soon

c) Private:  5 years and under 65  (not age or medically required) No Longer Available

  • Four strain vaccine
  • Doctors visit is bulk-billed with a valid Medicare card
  • $20 each or $15 each if 3 or more patients (family or company etc) 
  • No Longer Available 

Flu Vaccine – ‘At Risk’ Group:

Cardiac Disease

  • Cyanotic congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congestive heart failure

Chronic Respiratory Conditions

  • Suppurative lung disease
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis\Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease
  • Chronic Emphysema
  • Severe Asthma

Chronic Neurological Conditions

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Seizure disorders
  • Other neuromuscular disorders

Other Chronic Illnesses

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Chronic metabolic diseases
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Haemoglobinopathies
  • Impaired immunity

Impaired Immunity

  • Infection, malignancy and chronic steroid use
  • Long term aspirin therapy in children (aged 6 months to 10 years)

Flu strains can change from year to year and it is strongly recommended that flu shots are given before the flu season starts.

What is the flu?

The Flu or ‘Influenza’ is a highly contagious viral infection which is spread by contact with fluids and droplets from sneezes and coughs, or by touching surfaces touched by an infected person. Flu affects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs.

Symptoms of the flu

Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Poor appetite
  • Joint/muscle pains
  • Feeling sleepy, weak and fatigued

Complications of the flu

Flu season peaks in winter and people infected with the flu virus can become seriously unwell. Potentially life threatening complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, chest infections and liver complications can develop and those in ‘high risk groups’ are more likely to experience complications resulting in hospitalisation.

If you or your family experience flu symptoms this year, please see your doctor. 

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