Get your flu shot to protect your family against sickness
Did you know that you can protect your family against sickness by getting a flu shot?
In 2017 there were more than 217,000 confirmed cases of flu in Australia with more than 1,000 flu-related deaths .
Influenza (the flu) is a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening disease of the respiratory tract caused by influenza viruses. The highly transmittable nature of the flu means that it is very easy to catch via an infected person’s cough or sneeze.
In Australia in 2017, a summary from the National Influenza Surveillance Committee's Flu Report found that “the 2017 influenza season was the largest since the 2009 pandemic year.”
This severe illness includes symptoms like fever, headache and muscle pain that can last up to 3 weeks. The numbers of people having to take time off work due to illness and going to hospital with complications like pneumonia resulted in “more than twice the number of people with influenza being admitted than is typical.”
To protect your family from flu and sickness, the Department of Health advises an annual flu shot as “the flu shot continues to be the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications .”
Why you should consider getting a flu shot
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious “viral disease that causes widespread illness every year. Immunising people who are at risk of complications from the flu is the most important way we have to reduce the numbers of flu infections and deaths.”  The flu can be particularly serious for pregnant women, babies and people over 65 years of age and usually causes the most disease during winter.
Getting your annual flu shot is important because:
- Common strains of flu change annually and the flu shot changes to match them
- Your immune protection from the flu shot declines over time.
It is important to note that a flu shot cannot give you the flu because it does not contain any live virus. Being immunised against the flu is an effective and safe way to protect you and your family from serious diseases that can result from the flu.
Modern Medical’s flu vaccination program in Melbourne
Since 2003 at nine purpose-built clinics throughout Melbourne, Modern Medical has been a provider of quality healthcare to local communities.
The flu shot is the best protection against the flu and potential complications. Your risk of becoming infected with the flu can significantly decrease if you get a flu shot before the height of the flu season.
When you should get a flu shot
According to Modern Medical Occupational Physician Dr Reza Sabetghadam, the flu season typically affects us from June to September and peaks in August. With this in mind, May is considered to be the best injection month for patients to receive maximum coverage from their vaccines.
Please note 2018 influenza vaccines will be available from mid-April.
How much will I need to pay for the flu shot?
Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule, you may be eligible to get a free flu shot every year if you or your family belongs to any of the below groups:
- Children over 6 months of age with medical risk factors
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 6 months to less than 5 years and 15 years and over
- People 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
It is important to note that while the vaccine is free, you may be charged a consultation fee for the GP appointment. If you are not eligible under the NIP Schedule for a free flu shot, the cost will depend on the type of flu shot and where you buy it.
Who should get a flu shot
The Australian Government Department of Health recommends the following people get flu shots every year:
- People aged 65 years or over
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy or women planning a pregnancy
- All children over 6 months of age
- Health care workers and people who live or work in aged care homes or long-term facilities
- People who live or work with someone who is at a high risk of contracting the flu
- People who plan to travel overseas