Flu vaccination centre.
Our flu vaccines will be available from late March, early April 2016, and we will again be running flu vaccination clinics during lunch periods. These will be short appointments for the vaccination only, the consultation at the flu clinic will be bulk billed with the only out of pocket expense being the cost of the vaccine at $30.00.
This year we are vaccinating with the superior four strain vaccine (quadrivalent). This helps to ensure protection again four strains of the flu virus.
The influenza vaccine can never give you the flu. The vaccine does not contain any live virus. The vaccine is generally well tolerated but you should stay on site for 15 minutes so we can keep an eye on you post your vaccination.
Why should you get vaccinated?
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is caused by a virus which spreads easily from person to person through infected droplets in the air and by hands carrying the virus.
The flu virus infects your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. It differs from a cold as symptoms such as fever, sore throat and muscle aches develop suddenly and last about a week. In some cases severe illness and complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis can develop resulting in hospitalization and /or death.
Flu can sometimes make underlying medical conditions worse.
Vaccination is recommended in Autumn to allow time for immunity to develop before the flu season starts. As the strains change each year even if you received a flu vaccination towards the end of last flu season, you should still be vaccinated again before this season.
People at high risk
The flu vaccination is recommended for anyone from six months of age but is available free for the following people at high risk.
- 65 years and over. People aged 65years and over have the highest risk of complications associated with seasonal flu
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. People from 15 years of age are eligible for free vaccination
- Pregnant women. The flu vaccination is recommended for pregnant women and can be safely given during any stage during pregnancy. Pregnant women are at higher risk of severe complications associated with the flu virus. Vaccination during pregnancy also provides protection for the baby during their first vulnerable months of life.
- Medically at risk. People with some existing medical conditions are at increased risk of complications from flu. These include anyone who is over 6 months of age and has:
- Cardiac disease
- Chronic respiratory conditions, including lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
- Chronic illness requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including Diabetes, chronic metabolic diseases and chronic renal failure.
- Chronic neurological conditions that impact respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and seizure disorders
- Impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
- Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
Vaccine safety and allergies
Like all medications, this vaccine may have some side effects. These are usually very mild and do not last for long. If you feel anything that worries you, call your doctor/ nurse for advice. Some people report redness or discomfort at the site of the injection; this should disappear within a few days. A few people report mild fever and muscle pains or feel generally unwell for one or two days after the vaccination. These flu-like symptoms do not mean you have the flu. They are most likely to be your body’s natural response to the vaccine.
Anyone with a severe reaction to eggs should talk to their immunisation provider before receiving the vaccination.
There may be a small increase in fever when a child receives both the flu vaccine and the pneumococcal disease vaccine (13Vpcv) at the same time. These two vaccines can be given separately, with at least a 3 day interval between them, to reduce the likelihood of fever.
In 2010, one flu vaccine (bioCSL fluvax) was shown to be associated with an increase in severe fever in some children less than 5 years of age. This vaccine has not been registered for use in children under 5 since 2012