Flu (Influenza) is a viral infection which is easily spread from person to person and can be avoided with a yearly vaccination. It is advised to have a vaccine every year to provide long lasting immunity as vaccine strains may change each year.
Symptoms of flu include: High fever, chills and sweating, sore throat, weakness with generalised muscle/joint aches and pains, headaches and feeling generally well, with symptoms lasting as long as 2 weeks.
This year there will be 2 vaccines available in Australia:
Trivalent (3 strain) – which contains 2 Influenza strains and 1 Influenza B strain.
Quadrivalent (4 strain) – which contains 2 Influenza A strains and 2 Influenza B strains – offering broader protection against current flu viruses.
This year the government will only be funding the Quadrivalent (4-strain flu) vaccine according to the World Health Organisations recommendations for the 2016 Southern Hemisphere Influenza season.
Those eligible for government funded vaccines include:
· Pregnant women (any trimester)
· People over the age of 65
· Aboriginal people aged at lease 6 months, but less than 5 years or 15 years and older
· All children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
· Individuals with medical conditions that place them at risk for developing complications of influenza, such as:
· Cardiac disease
· Chronic respiratory conditions
· Chronic neurological conditions
· Impaired immunity
· Diabetes and other metabolic disorders
· Kidney disease
· Bleeding disorders
Flu vaccines are available now at Currambine and Ocean Keys Family Practice. We also have a supply of private vaccines for those not eligible for a government funded vaccine for a fee of $15.