18 Apr Don’t Forget Your Flu Vaccine
Despite the unusually warm seasonal weather we have been experiencing in the past couple of weeks, it’s hard to believe that winter is coming. According to the Health Minister Greg Hunt it is urgent that Australians get their flu shots as they become available from mid-April.
“It’s important to get vaccinated against influenza every year, as the virus changes year to year,” Greg Hunt said.
Six million doses of influenza vaccine will become available for free for eligible people through the federal government funded National Immunisation Program.
Those eligible for a free flu vaccine include people 65 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months and people aged sixth months or older with certain medical conditions which put them at risk of severe influenza.
Pregnant women are also eligible for a free flu vaccine. It is safe to receive the shot at any stage of pregnancy to protect both mother and baby. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age and older.
When to get the vaccine?
The earlier the better.
Experts said early April is a good time to get a vaccine as it takes two weeks for your immunity to develop. Flu season in Australia usually runs from June to September, peaking in August.
Chief Medical Officer for the Federal Government, Professor Brendan Murphy, recommends vaccinating from mid-April in order to develop immunity before rates of influenza increase.
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