North Sydney Doctors provides Flu vaccinations and we recommend everyone should have one – especially those at increased risk of complications as listed in the information below.
What is Influenza?
Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are three main types of influenza virus that cause infection in humans – types A, B and C – and many sub-types or strains. Influenza can occur throughout the year but influenza activity usually peaks in winter.
Influenza is a vaccine-preventable illness but a new vaccine needs to be given each year because influenza viruses change (mutate) constantly. A new influenza vaccine is prepared each year to best match the strains predicted for the coming influenza season.
Are you eligible for a free flu vaccine?
Currently, annual influenza vaccination is provided free through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) to groups who are at an increased risk of influenza complications. This includes:
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over
- Anyone aged 6 months and over who has a chronic condition placing them at increased risk of complications from influenza
Things you might not know:
- There is no live virus in the flu shot so it cannot give you the flu!
- The composition of the vaccine changes every year to combat the most common strains of influenza
- You should get a flu shot every year, even if you have been vaccinated the year before
- The flu shot is safe for pregnant women at all stages of their pregnancy
- Children can begin to be immunised against the flu from six months of age
- If your child has a chronic medical condition, she/he is at increased risk of severe flu or complications from flu.
Any other questions or concerns please ask your Doctor.