The seasonal influenza vaccine is still available and it is not too late to get vaccinated, according to Southern NSW Local Health District.
“While numbers of people with influenza are currently low, there has been indications the flu season has begun and we can expect to see a peak in influenza cases in 4-7 weeks.” Director Public Health, Tracey Oakman said. “I encourage everyone who hasn’t had the influenza vaccine this year, to consider getting the vaccine in the next week or so, because it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of flu in the community,” said Mrs Oakman. “An estimated 3,000 Australians die every year, either directly from the seasonal flu, complications due to the flu, or pneumonia.” Mrs Oakman said the influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone from six months of age who wish to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza. It is available free under the National Immunisation Program for people at high risk of complications. They are: • People 65 years and over • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to 5 years • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Persons 15 years and over • Pregnant Women • People Medically at Risk including anyone who is six months of age and over who has: o Heart disease o Severe asthma o Chronic lung condition o Chronic illness requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the past year o Diseases of the nervous system o Impaired immunity o Diabetes o Children aged six months to 10 years on long-term aspirin therapy are also at risk of complications from flu. If you are unwell take action to stop the spread of influenza by remembering to: • Cover your face when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a rubbish bin • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Wash hands for at least 10 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, or use an alcohol-based hand rub • Stay at home until you’re well. Wait at least 24 hours after your fever resolves so you that you aren’t likely to infect other people. Keep sick children away from school and other activities 2 • Call ahead to see a doctor. If you think you may have influenza and you need to see a doctor, remember to call first so the clinic can take precautions to reduce the risk to other people. For more information please see the below link: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/seasonal_flu_vaccination.aspx