Flu Vaccine – What you should know
What is influenza?
Influenza “The Flu” is a disease caused by the Influenza virus and is transmitted by droplet infection from person to person, most commonly through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include; sneezing, coughing, high fever, body aches and muscle aches.
Why have the flu vaccine?
The flu shot can help protect you from contracting Influenza – a respiratory illness that can lead to serious health complications and in some cases death. The best way to protect your family from influenza is to be immunised, so you don’t bring the virus home. Doing this may also help to reduce the spread of the virus in the community. Also, make sure your vulnerable loved ones are immunised to protect them from flu-related complications.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?
The side effects from the flu vaccine are generally mild, like soreness, redness and pain at the site. Some people may also experience some muscle aches or develop a fever. These symptoms usually go away within a few days. Some people can have an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine, which is usually immediate. This is why we recommend people stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after receiving the influenza vaccine.
I had the flu vaccine last year, why do I need to have it again this year?
Each year the influenza virus changes creating new strains of the virus, therefore a vaccine that contained certain ‘strains’ last year, offers minimal protection to the individual this year. Every year a person’s level of influenza immunity decreases which is why yearly vaccination is recommended.
I have had the flu vaccine in the past and still got the flu – why have the vaccine?
The flu vaccine protects you against strains of influenza that are anticipated to affect Australians this flu season. It is possible that you may have been incubating the disease prior to the flu shot or contracted another strain that is not covered by the vaccine. It is best to vaccinate as early as in autumn as possible to prevent being exposed to the flu.
Can the flu vaccine give you the flu?
No, the flu vaccine cannot give a person the flu as it is not a ‘live’ vaccine.
Is the flu vaccine safe during pregnancy?
The flu vaccine is safe during pregnancy. Pregnant women are eligible for the FREE government-supplied vaccine at any stage during their pregnancy.
Is the flu vaccine safe for children?
Yes, the flu vaccine is safe for children from 6 months of age. Children aged less than 9 years of age will require two doses, 1 month apart, in the first year that they receive the influenza vaccine.
Can I have the flu vaccine if I have an egg allergy?
The flu vaccine contains a small amount of egg protein. People who have an anaphylactic reaction to eggs are advised to seek further advice from their doctor prior to receiving the vaccination.
Is the flu vaccine free?
The flu vaccine is government-supplied and FREE for certain ‘at risk’ groups in our community.
Who is eligible for the government-supplied influenza vaccine?
People over 65 years of age
People aged 6 months and over with chronic conditions who are ‘at risk’ of developing complications from influenza
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged between 6 months and under 5 years
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are aged 15 years and over
I’m not eligible for the free government-supplied vaccine. How much do I pay for the flu vaccine?
The team at Active Medical can supply and administer the Influenza Vaccine for an out of pocket cost of $15.00 per dose.
Why isn’t the Flu Vaccine free for everyone?
As with any medication, there is always a cost involved. Due to the cost of producing the vaccine, the government is only able to fund for the most vulnerable people in our community.
I am travelling overseas; do I still need the flu vaccine if I am avoiding winter in Australia?
Yes. The Influenza Vaccine is highly recommended before travelling as it offers protection for the whole flu season. A flu season can often be unpredictable, and can last sometimes well into spring. We are also very fortunate in Australia, to have the added bonus of being able to immunise against common strains of the flu, which may already be prevalent in other countries.
How do I book an appointment to get the Influenza Vaccine?
Phone our friendly team on 9363 0954, make an online booking www.activemedicalcentre.com.au or visit us at Active Medical Centre. 228-232 Caroline Springs Blvd, Caroline Springs.