Don’t miss out on your 2018 flu vaccine
Winter’s rolling round again, and that means it’s time for your influenza shot. While no one feels particularly joyful adding this to their to-do lists, experts have strongly encouraged vaccination following last year’s deadly flu season claimed the lives of over 1,000 Australians.
In fact, demand has been so high already in 2018 that it’s caused a shortage of the vaccine across the country. A record number of doses (5.1 million – that’s 10 percent more than usual) were brought into Australia under the National Immunisation Program this year, but a 30 percent increase in the number of people requesting immunisation has impacted supplies.
Family Doctors Plus flu vaccine available
Good news – we have plenty of doses of the vaccination still available at Family Doctors Plus, so book your appointment today.
What’s new in 2018?
Enhanced vaccines for over 65s
Stronger versions of the vaccine are available for adults over the age of 65 because the standard vaccine is not as effective in older adults.
Free vaccines for children under five
Several states, including Queensland, are now offering free vaccination for children under five years of age. This is because children are vulnerable to severe illness and because the virus spreads quickly in daycare centres and amongst families with young children.
Why do I need to be vaccinated every year?
Getting vaccinated every year is important because:
- the most common strains of the flu virus change every year, so the vaccines are updated annually
- the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes over time, and it’s important be protected at the time of year when the flu is most prevalent
- you help to protect other people, including those who are too sick or too young to be vaccinated, as well as vulnerable groups such as babies, over-65s and pregnant women
- the more people who are vaccinated in the community, the less likely the flu will spread.
Who should be vaccinated?
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone and is available from your GP.
This year, the Government will provide flu shots for free under the National Immunisation Program for high-risk groups, including:
- adults over 65 years of age
- pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people with chronic conditions.