The 2018 Flu Vaccine is now available at Vitalis Family Medical Practice
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and close contact.
Unlike a cold, symptoms such as fever, sore throat and muscle aches develop suddenly with flu and last about a week. In some cases, severe illness and complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis can develop, which can result in hospitalisation and even death. The flu can also make some existing medical conditions worse.
The flu virus can be especially dangerous for elderly people, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and very young children, as well as for people with underlying medical conditions.
Following a particularly bad flu season last year, patients are advised to have their flu vaccines as early as possible this season. Flu immunity is not sustained and re-vaccination is required each year.
This year’s vaccine will be the 4 strain (quadrivalent) vaccine for the cost of $15.00.
Please make an appointment with our nurse for your annual flu vaccination as limited stock is available.
At risk groups can access the vaccine for free as part of a public immunisation program, and should ensure that they are vaccinated before the time when flu usually peaks in Australia, around June or July.
Those who the National Health and Medical Research Council recommends should be vaccinated against influenza:
- People aged 65 years and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years of age and over
- Anyone over 6 months of age with any of the following chronic illnesses:
- Heart conditions
- Lung/respiratory conditions, such as asthma
- Diabetes (and other chronic metabolic diseases)
- Kidney disease
- Impaired immunity
- Chronic neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders
- Haemoglobinopathies (a range of genetically inherited disorders of red blood cell haemoglobin)
- Pregnant women
- Residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is influenza (flu) and how is it transmitted?
Influenza is a viral infection, caused by Three different types of influenza viruses: influenza A, B and C. Only influenza A and B cause major outbreaks and severe disease, and these types are included in seasonal influenza vaccines.
Influenza spreads from person to person through the air by coughing or sneezing, or by direct contact with the virus on hard surfaces or people's hands.
Can you get influenza from a flu vaccine?
There is no live virus in the flu shot, so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. After vaccination, the person will develop antibody levels that are likely to protect them against the strains of virus represented in the vaccine.
Why do I need to get vaccinated against the flu every year?
- You should get the flu shot every year because the flu virus is constantly changing. Every year, the flu vaccine changes to match the flu virus, so it protects against the flu strains which are most likely to be around during that winter.
- A person’s immune protection from the influenza vaccination declines over time and annual vaccination is recommended.
What do they mean when they refer to a Quadrivalent Vaccine?
The Quadrivalent Vaccine protects against 4 strains of flu vaccine, as compared to Trivalent Vaccine types which protect against 3 strains.
The vaccine types are advised by the World Health Organisation based on circulating vaccine types and the 2017 vaccine contains:
- H1N1: A/ Michigan 45/2015 like (CHANGED)
- H3N2: A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 like (no change)
- B (for TIV): B/Brisbane/60/2008 like (no change)
- 2nd B: B/Phuket/3073/2913 like (no change)
What will happen in my appointment?
During your appointment, a Nurse Provider or doctor will administer a flu vaccination. No prior prescription will be required and appointments take only minutes. You will be asked to complete a consent form and you may be asked some questions about your existing health and any previous reactions you may have had.
How long will my appointment take?
Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your appointment and be aware you will need to remain in the practice for a further 15 minutes observation period in the unlikely event of an adverse reaction.
Is it safe for me to get the flu shot if I am pregnant?
Yes. The flu vaccine can be safely given during any stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women are at the increased risk of complications from the flu. Immunising against flu during pregnancy can not only protect women but help provide ongoing protection to a newborn baby for the first six months after birth.
Can my child be vaccinated against the flu?
Children can begin to be immunised against the flu from six months of age. Children aged 6 months to under 9 years of age require two doses, at least four weeks apart in the first year they receive the vaccine. While two doses in the first year are recommended, one dose does provide some protection and is preferable to receiving no doses. One dose of influenza vaccine is required in subsequent years. A single dose of influenza vaccine is given to all children aged nine years and over.