Why have the flu shot and other common Influenza vaccine questions

Active Medical Influenza Vaccine

Why have the flu vaccine? Why have the flu shot?

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 is the flu? What is influenza?

Influenza 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.

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 it 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 before and still got the flu? Why have the flu vaccine when it doesn’t work?

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 if I am pregnant?

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 or nut 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.

A nut allergy is not a contraindication to receiving the flu vaccine.

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
  • Pregnant women
  • 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

How much is the cost of the Influenza Vaccine?

The team at Active Medical can provide the Influenza Vaccine to people who are not eligible to receive the government-supplied vaccine and have two vaccines available: 3-strain at $7.50 or 4-strain at $15.00 per dose.

What is the difference between 3-strain and 4-strain vaccine?

The 3-strain vaccine offers protection against three strains of the flu virus, while the 4-strain offers protection against four strains of the virus anticipated to affect Australians this flu season.

Can I get the flu vaccine free if I am eligible for the government flu vaccine but do not have a Medicare card?

If you fit within any of the eligible categories mentioned above, you are still eligible for the government-supplied vaccine. The only cost will be $25 for a brief doctor’s consultation and nurse administration.

I am not eligible for the government-supplied flu vaccine and I do not have a Medicare card, can I still get the vaccine free?

If you do not have a Medicare card and do not fit into any of the eligible categories mentioned above, the cost of the privately supplied vaccine would depend on your choice of 3-strain or 4-strain, as well as the $25 fee for a brief doctor’s consultation and nurse administration.

If the flu vaccine is so good, why isn’t it 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 saw both strains of the vaccine advertised elsewhere and cheaper, why shouldn’t I just go there?

At Active Medical, we look after people as a whole and pride ourselves on the highest quality care and consistency of service delivered to our patients.

I have a fear of needles so I always avoid vaccines whenever I can, what can I do to overcome my fear?

A fear of needles shouldn’t stop people from getting immunised. Having the flu may be worse than receiving the injection. A flu shot is the best protection against Influenza. Active Medical’s doctors and nurses are highly trained and have techniques and tips that can help to alleviate your fear of injections during your visit.

I am travelling overseas; do I still need the flu vaccine if I am avoiding winter?

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?

Please book an appointment here at any time, phone our friendly team on 9363 0954 or visit us at Active Medical Centre. 228-232 Caroline Springs Blvd, Caroline Springs.

Active Medical Centre is a BULK BILLING medical clinic located in Caroline Springs, North West of Melbourne.

We pride ourselves in delivering high quality patient care, addressing each person’s individual and unique health needs. Our team are here to listen and aim to provide our patients with as much information as possible, so you can make an informed decision about your health and well-being.