What is Influenza?
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is caused by a virus and mainly spreads from person to person through the air by coughing, sneezing or talking, and by touching a person's hands, surface or object.
The flu virus infects your respiratory system such as the nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. It differs from a cold as symptoms such as fever, sore throat and muscle aches develop suddenly and last about a week. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can cause complications such as pneumonia and bronchitic which can require hospitalisation.
Flu can also make some underlying medical conditions worse. There is a need to get vaccinated every year because the viruses circulating in the community continually change an immunity from the vaccine does not last a long time. It is especially important that people at risk be vaccinated each year.
Who should be vaccinated? The flu vaccine is available to anyone from 6 months of age who wishes to be protected against influenza.
Free flu vaccine in 2020 is available for the following people:
- Heart Disease
- Severe Asthma
- Chronic Lung condition
- Chronic Illness requiring medical follow up or hospitalisation in the past year
- Impaired Immunity
- Children aged 6 months to 10 years who are on long-term aspirin therapy
Appointments to be vaccinated?
We have started the process of administering flu vaccines, but in the current situation with COVID-19, we are prioritising people with the highest need (eg immunocompromised) to be vaccinated as a matter of urgency. Everyone else will be placed on a waiting list, and contacted according to availability of vaccine stock and appointments.
This year, the Highton Clinic will have a number of scheduled sessions running every weekday and also on Saturdays.
Cost of Flu Vaccine?
When booking into a scheduled session or making an appointment with a practice nurse for the Flu Vaccine the cost of the consultations is bulk billed, however if you are not eligible for a free flu vaccine under any of the categories above there is a private vaccination charge of $25 that is not claimable from medicare.Further information regarding immunisation against Influenza can be found at:www.immunise.health.gov.au