New Flu Vaccines coming in April
To be clear, the flu vaccine does not protect against covid-19. That’s a different virus. The flu vaccine does however offer immunity against many strains of influenza.
There’s also a benefit to others in our Cheltenham community – the flu is still problematic for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Lowering your susceptibility to the flu helps to prevent its spread to others.
And while the government is offering free flu vaccines for those over 65, those vaccines alone won’t stop the spread of flu. Stopping flu viruses requires flu vaccines that are effective in those who most efficiently carry and spread the virus — pre-school and school-aged children, in whom rates are highest.
It also needs higher uptake by the community; as much as 73% of all adults in Australia were un-vaccinated last year. Getting vaccinated helps to reduce the spread of the flu in your community, and increases your immunity for the upcoming season. Vaccines are also free for children between 6 months and 5 years of age, and for pregnant women. The Government recommends that all Australians over 6 months be vaccinated.
Our advice? Get yourself vaccinated between April and June to best prepare yourself for the flu this year. There are different vaccines for different age groups, so be sure to get the right flu vaccine.
Call Southland Medial Centre in Cheltenham on 9584 9504 to find out when we will be stocking vaccines and how you can get immunised.
At a Glance
- Influenza (flu) is a viral disease that is spread every year during the colder months.
- Immunising people at risk of complications is the best way to reduce flu infections and deaths.
- Flu immunisation is recommended for high risk groups: Those over 65, young children above 6 months of age, and pregnant women.
- People who work or live with people who are at risk should also be vaccinated.
- The vaccine does not contain any live virus. You cannot get the flu by being vaccinated.
- You can contract influenza and Covid-19 at the same time. Reduce your risk to yourself and others by reducing your overall exposure to illness.
What are the symptoms?
Check your symptoms against the common signs of flu:
- sudden high fever (38 °C or more)
- dry cough
- body aches (especially in the head, lower back and legs)
- feeling very weak and tired (not wanting to get out of bed).
Other symptoms are:
- aching behind the eyes
- loss of appetite
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose.
Whether you have the flu or another kind of virus can only be confirmed by your GP.
The treatment is similar for any ‘flu-like’ illness, but a diagnosis is useful in helping track patterns and frequency. Diagnosis will be required if complications develop.
See your doctor if you are concerned, and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- sudden dizziness
- severe vomiting
- fever with a rash.