At The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre flu vaccines are still available. Remember this will still NOT BE TOO LATE to vaccinate.
Our flu vaccination clinic finishes at the end of May but you can still receive your flu vaccine with no out of pocket consultation expense by booking an appointment with either Dr Ben Teoh or Dr Mark Martakis. The only cost is the flu vaccine itself, $30.00. Ben and Mark are available every day and you can arrange an appointment to see them by calling us on 9650 9372 or booking online: Dr Ben Teoh; Dr Mark Martakis.
You can of course receive your flu vaccine during the course of a consultation with your regular Sports Doctor or General Practitioner. In this case there is a cost for your consultation in addition to the vaccine itself.
This year there are some changes to the actual vaccines:
The vaccines for those aged 65 and over are free for this age group and are specifically designed to provide increased protection for this older age group. These trivalent (three strain) vaccines work by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza. We are expecting our supplies of these vaccines in April.
The vaccine for those aged over 6 months to age 64 is a quadrivalent (4 strain) vaccine containing the follow four strains:
A(H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015(h1N1)pdm09 like virus
A(H3N2): an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2) like virus (new in 2019)
B/Colorado/06/2017 like virus (new in 2019)
B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus
What is the Flu?
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, spreads easily from person to person through infected droplets in the air and by hands. Vaccination is the single most effective way of preventing and stopping its spread.
The flu virus infects your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. It is different from a cold as symptoms such as fever, sore throat and muscle aches develop suddenly and last about a week. In some cases, severe illness and complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis can develop, resulting in hospitalisation and/or death. The flu can also make some existing medical conditions worse.
Why should you get the Flu Shot?
Because the flu virus is constantly changing, you need to get vaccinated ever year.
Every year, the flu vaccine changes too, so it protects against the strains of flu virus which are most likely to be around during winter. You should be vaccinated in autumn to allow time for the vaccine to work before the flu season starts. Even if you received a flu shot towards the end of last flu season, you should still be vaccinated again before this flu season.
Are you eligible for the free flu shot?
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone from six months of age and the quadrivalent (four strain) vaccine is available free under the National Immunisation Program for people at high risk of complications. They are:
People 65 years and over: People aged 65 years and over have the highest risk of complications associated with seasonal flu. This year a new vaccine will be provided to this age group, specifically designed to generate a stronger immune response.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Persons: All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons 15 years of age and over are eligible for free flu shots. Influenza is a major cause of preventable sicknes and death amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Pregnant Women: The flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant woman and can be safely given during any stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women are at higher risk of severe complications associated with the flu. Vaccinating against flu during pregnancy also provides protection for babies during their first vulnerable months of life.
People Medically at Risk: People with some existing medical conditions are more likley to experience complications from flu. These include anyone who is 6 months of age and over who has:
chronic lung condition
chronic illness requiring medical follow up or hospitalisation in the past year
diseases of the nervous system
Flu Vaccine Safety and Allergies
Vaccines, like other medicines, can have side effects, however the majority of side effects are minor.
Common side effects following flu vaccination include soreness, redness, pain and swelling at the injection site, drowsiness, tiredness, muscle aches and low grade termperature (fever). These side effects are usually mild and go away within a few days, usually without any treatment. You should contact your doctor if you are concerned or you child has a persistant high temperature.
Anyone with a severe reaction to eggs or anyone who has had reactions to vaccines in the past should talk to their immunisation provider before receiving the influenza vaccination.
We are more than happy to answer any queries you may have regarding the flu vaccine. Feel free to call us on 9650 9372 or discuss with us when you are next in.