From April onwards, the 2018 flu shot will be available from GP surgeries and other immunisation providers.
It seems like only yesterday flu season was in full swing, but as we head into autumn, that dreaded colder weather is on its way. For the best chance of developing immunity against the flu, why not organise your family’s flu vaccinations now? The flu vaccine is recommended by the Australian Department of Health to all those over the age of six-months-old.
While many people prefer to immunise their families closer to winter, the Australian Department of Health says by vaccinating in April, you’re able to develop a stronger immunity to the flu before it becomes prevalent from around August. As evidence also suggests the influenza vaccine’s effectiveness may wane over time, choosing to be protected when it’s most needed is the best possible approach.
Under the National Immunisation Programme (NIP), those who are at high risk of contracting the flu, or at risk of suffering from complications, can receive the vaccine for free (a consultation fee from your provider may still apply).
Those covered under NIP include:
- People who are aged 65 or older
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged six months to less than five years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are aged 15 years and over
- Pregnant women
- People aged six months and over with medical conditions such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes that can lead to complications from influenza
Without immunisation, the risks of catching the flu are higher. It can spread from person to person quickly, and can even lead to severe complications such as chest infections and pneumonia. If you’re ready to protect you and your family, visit your local doctor or immunisation provider.