THE FLU SHOTS ARE IN FOR 2015

With the summer behind us and the colder weather starting to bite, it is again that time of the year when flu is rearing its ugly head. We have received our supply of flu shots for 2015, so please ring us to make an appointment with our friendly nurses in order to receive one.

It is recommended that everyone receives the flu shot every year, as the viruses circulating in the community continually change and immunity from the vaccine does not last a long time. It is especially important that people at risk be vaccinated each year.

Commonly referred to as the flu, influenza 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 differs from a cold, as the symptoms such as fever, aches and sore throat may develop suddenly and last for about a week. The virus attacks your respiratory system such as the nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. In some cases complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis may occur resulting in hospitalisation. In extreme cases complications from the flu can lead to death.

People with underlining medical conditions should get the flu shot every year, as they are most susceptible to complications.

Pregnant women should receive the vaccine because they are in the high risk group for complications, but also because their newborn will be covered by the shot for the first 6 months of life.

The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone from 6 months of age who wishes to be protected against influenza. Free flu vaccine is available for the following people:

  • Anyone aged 65 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 15 years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone aged 6 months and over with one or more of the following medical conditions:
  • heart disease
  • severe asthma
  • chronic lung condition
  • chronic illness requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the past year
  • diseases of the nervous system
  • impaired immunity
  • diabetes
  • Children aged 6 months to 10 years who are on long-term aspirin therapy

For those who are not eligible for the free vaccine, the cost is $20.

About Filip Nikolic

Filip Nikolic is the Practice Manager of Pakenham Family Health.