Free influenza vaccinations are now available for those at high risk and over age 65 – please ring for an appointment.
Influenza (the flu) is caused by a virus. The flu is more than just a bad cold and can occasionally lead to serious complications, including death. Symptoms include high fever, sore throat, weakness, headache, muscle and joint pains and a cough. Treatment includes bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Vulnerable people are more likely to develop serious complications including pneumonia. Immunisation can offer protection from flu.
Immunisation against influenza
Annual immunisation against the latest version of the flu is strongly recommended for people in at-risk groups such as older people, pregnant women and those who work or live with people in at-risk groups. Immunisation can help you to avoid serious complications (such as pneumonia) that may arise as a result of contracting the virus.
You should ideally have your vaccination between March and May, before the onset of the flu season. Protection against the seasonal flu develops about two weeks after the injection and lasts for up to one year.
An annual flu immunisation is provided on the National Immunisation Program for most people in the community who are considered to be at an increased risk of complications. An annual immunisation against the flu is free for:
- people six months and over who have medical conditions that put them at risk of serious complications of the flu
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 15 years and over
- pregnant women – at any stage of pregnancy
- people 65 years and over.
Contact your doctor or immunisation provider for further information about eligibility. People not covered by these categories can also have an annual flu immunisation but it is not available for free. Some workplaces also run annual immunisation programs for staff.
Influenza vaccine is strongly recommended but may not be free for:
- staff, volunteers and frequent visitors to a hospital, long-term care facility or nursing home
- people living or caring for someone who has a chronic illness or is aged over 65
- people providing essential services
- workers in other industries
- workers in the commercial poultry industry
- travellers visiting parts of the world where flu is circulating, especially if travelling in a group