Here Comes Flu Season...
It's Nearly Flu Vax Time!
Influenza, or "the flu", is a common respiratory tract disease. It affects people of all ages. Some people with influenza may only suffer from mild symptoms; however, even healthy people can have severe complications. For people at risk, it can lead to hospitalisation and even death. Influenza is not the same as the common cold.
Yearly influenza vaccination is the most important thing you can do to prevent influenza and its complications. It is recommended for all people ages six months and over.
Influenza vaccination is particularly recommended for:
- children aged six months to <5 years
- adults aged ≥ 65 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people with medical conditions that increase their risk of influenza
- homeless people
- pregnant women
- healthcare workers, carers and household contacts of people in high-risk groups
- residents, staff, volunteers and visitors to aged care and long-term residential facilities
- commercial poultry and pork industry workers
- people who provide essential community services
- people who are travelling during influenza season
People with the following medical conditions have a higher risk of influenza:
- immunocompromising conditions, such as HIV, malignancy, functional or anatomical asplenia, and chronic steroid use
- receiving immuno-oncology therapy
- received a haematopoietic stem cell or solid organ transplant
- cardiac disease
- Down syndrome
- chronic respiratory conditions
- chronic neurologic conditions
- chronic liver disease
- other chronic illnesses that need medical follow-up or hospitalisation
- long term aspirin therapy in children (aged 6 months to 10 years)
- preterm infants (<37 weeks gestation)
Influenza Vaccine is Free For:
- Pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
- People aged 6 months and over with certain medical conditions such as cardiac disease, chronic respiratory disease, chronic neurological conditions and other at risk conditions (have a yarn with your health worker, doctor or nurse)
- Children 6 months to less than 5 years
- people aged 65 years and older
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
At IWC, we will start flu vaccination clinics in mid-April, when 2023 stock becomes available. The peak of influenza season is usually from June to September in most parts of Australia, and the highest level of protection occurs in the first 3-4 months after vaccination, therefore vaccination mid-April onwards is likely to result in peak immunity during the influenza season. However, it is never too late to vaccinate as influenza can spread all year round.
Come in and have a yarn about flu vax.
Myths and Realities
Flu vaccines can not give you the flu. Flu vaccines are made with either inactivated (killed) viruses, or with only a single protein from the flu virus.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommends that all people with egg allergies can receive an age-appropriate influenza vaccine.
Chances are you may not have had influenza but a virus that causes the common cold. However, some people can get influenza and not be particularly unwell. That does not mean you will sail through influenza if you get it again.
Also, it is important that we vaccinate to look out for the people around us. Many people in our community are very vulnerable to influenza. It could be the newborn baby next door, your nan with chronic lung disease, or your uncle who is going through chemo. Vaccination helps to reduce the spread of influenza to our most vulnerable community members.