Southern NSW Local Health District are encouraging everyone in South Eastern NSW to get the flu shot as soon as possible.
Vaccinating against the flu will reduce the risk of a very dangerous double-up of flu and COVID-19, with both diseases affecting the respiratory system.
Above: Dr Martin Carlson of Moruya General Practice told the Beagle that the practice has limited supplies of influenza vaccine still available, both Government funded and private, for all age groups. (you can call 44070204 if you still require your annual flu vaccine) Dr Carlson reiterated NSW Health advice that while anyone can get influenza, people at higher risk of complications from influenza infection, including individuals aged 6 months and over with certain medical conditions should also consider the flu vaccination as the best way to prevent influenza. NSW Health recommends everyone aged six months and over should be vaccinated against influenza this year, and every year, to protect themselves and others in the community. Seasonal influenza vaccination is available for anyone aged 6 months and over to protect against influenza, provided they do not have a medical reason that precludes them from receiving influenza vaccines.
People at higher risk of influenza complications (see Who is at risk) are strongly recommended to have an annual influenza vaccination, and are eligible for free influenza vaccine under the National Influenza Vaccination Program.
In addition to people eligible for free vaccine, annual influenza vaccination is also recommended for those who frequently come in to close contact with other people at higher risk of influenza complications (such as health care workers and family members) to help protect vulnerable people from infection.
The vaccine takes about two weeks to boost your immune system and will protect you for three to four months.
Free flu vaccines are available under the National Immunisation Program for people at greatest risk of complications. This includes:
all children aged between six months and five years
pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged six months and older
people aged 65 years and older
people aged six months and older with chronic or underlying health issues, and comprised immune systems.
People are encouraged to contact their usual general practice, Aboriginal Medical Service, community health centre or pharmacy to make an appointment. It is not recommended for people to arrive unscheduled for a vaccination.
For more information, visit NSW Health.
Or there are two 24/7 helplines available:
National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080
Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222