Worst Flu Season in 15 years! It's not too late to have the flu vaccine.

Photograph of Influenza Virus

Flu vaccines are still available!

As you have no doubt heard in the media, this year there have currently been more Laboratory confirmed Flu cases circulating within the community than in the previous 15 years.  It is not too late therefore to have the flu vaccine.

At The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre we still have supplies of the Quadrivalent vaccine which is covering 2 of the most common strains circulating. It is also believed that if you are exposed to a different strain than is in the vaccine, then you may not be as sick as you might have been if you did not get a vaccine at all.

So don’t delay… Have the Flu shot today!  Phone us on 9650 9372 to arrange an appointment.

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.

This year we will continue to provide the superior quadrivalent (four strain) vaccine.

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.

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:

  • heart disease
  • severe asthma
  • chronic lung condition
  • chronic illness requiring medical follow up or hospitalisation in the past year
  • diseases of the nervous system
  • impaired immunity
  • diabetes

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.