Influenza Vaccine 2018 Update

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Doses of the private seasonal influenza vaccine have arrived at Fountain Street General Practice and are now available for our existing patients.

Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and close contact. It led to the death of more than 1100 Australians in the 2017 flu season, more than 90% of those deaths were people aged over 65 years of age.

Vaccination remains the best defence against seasonal influenza.

In the wake of such a high number of deaths in last year’s flu season, the Australian Government is taking extra precaution this year and making the government funded vaccine accessible to more people deemed to be of higher risk of developing influenza related complications. These include:

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons aged 6 months to less than 5 years or 15 years and older
  • All children aged 6 months to under 5 years
  • All adults aged 65 years and older
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
  • All persons aged 6 months and older who have medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications

Medical conditions associated with an increased risk of influenza disease complications and for which individuals are eligible for a government funded vaccine include:

  • Cardiac disease; coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cyanotic congenital heart disease
  • Chronic respiratory conditions; asthma, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, etc.
  • Chronic neurological conditions; hereditary and degenerative CNS diseases, seizure disorders, neuromuscular disorders, etc.
  • Immunocompromising conditions
  • Diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • Renal disease
  • Haematological disorders
  • Children on aspirin therapy

Government funded doses are expected to arrive by the middle of April. For those wanting to receive a private vaccination, patients can book in with the practice nurse and will be charged a $20 fee.

Please phone reception on 8303 2900 and advise that you would like to book for a flu vaccine. You may also book your flu shot online with one of the practice nurses.

Vaccinating Babies & Children

Children aged 6 months to under 9 years being vaccinated for influenza for the first time require a 2nd dose one month after the initial dose. Parents can consult with their doctor as to whether the influenza vaccine is suitable for them or if there are any queries or concerns.

Please note that babies under 6 months old cannot receive a flu injection.

Pregnant women (and women planning pregnancy) are recommended to be immunised against influenza as they are at increased risk of developing complications from influenza. The vaccine also protects infants against influenza for their first 6 months of life, when they are most vulnerable, yet still too young to be vaccinated themselves.