Get Your Flu Shot This Winter
The flu shot will be available in April from each of our GP surgeries with our doctors providing a range of flu clinic sessions.
“The typical flu season in Australia is around June to September. We have evidence to show vaccine immunity can sometimes wear off after a few months. For this reason the timing of influenza immunisation is very important and should not be done too early, late April or May is ideal.”
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone from six months of age, but is available for free under the National Immunisation Program for people who face a high risk from influenza and its complications. These are:
- People aged 65 years and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged six months to less than five years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are aged 15 years and over
- Pregnant Women
- People aged six months and over with medical conditions such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes that can lead to complications from influenza
To receive your influenza vaccination, visit one of our Medical Centres or call to discuss availability of flu clinics. Each of our Medical Centres will provide flu vaccinations under free bulk billing arrangements for patients that fall under the eligibility criteria above. A small fee may apply for other patients.
Multiple flu viruses circulate each year and are broadly grouped into two types: A and B. Dr Sally-Anne Parsons, Clinical Director at Pro Health Care Stirling, explains: “The usually less severe influenza B viruses have two main strains, while the influenza A viruses tend to be more serious and, because they are variable, are of most concern”.
“The influenza A viruses are usually A/H3N2 or A/H1N1, which lingers on from the 2009 ‘swine flu’ pandemic and was the biggest player in 2017.” With a special interest in paediatrics, women’s health and palliative care, Dr Parsons has seen how influenza can affect a wide range of age groups. “Influenza is easily transmitted through inhaling respiratory aerosols released when coughing or sneezing or by direct contact with respiratory secretions,” she says. “Think of keyboards, handshakes and phones”.
“Then follows an incubation period of up to three days so people do not realise they have the virus and continue to work on, often spreading their illness to work colleagues.”
Please note that due to complexities in running busy flu clinics, and various issues in clarifying patient’s elibigility to participate under the National Immunisation Program, our Medical Clinics request that patients call to arrange their flu vaccination rather than booking online. You can find the number for your nearest Pro Health Care clinic at our locations page.