11 Mar ‘Getting a flu shot is just as important as ever’ – Amanda Nash
By Amanda Nash
(TDHS Community Health Nurse)
With the 2021 flu season not far away, all Australians — and especially those in vulnerable groups or age brackets — should arrange vaccination against seasonal influenza during the month of April.
Whilst flu vaccination does not prevent against COVID-19, a flu vaccination is critical to protecting the general health of Australians from influenza, which can take between 100 to 1000 lives per year depending on the severity.
Expert medical advice is that everyone aged six months and over should be vaccinated against influenza this year, and every year, to protect themselves and others in the community.
It has been mandatory from 1 May 2020, that all aged care workers and visitors must have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza to enter an aged care facility.
Receiving a vaccination from April provides optimal protection in the peak period of influenza circulation, usually from June to September in most parts of Australia.
The actions that we have been encouraged to take to slow the spread of COVID-19 can also stop the spread of influenza and other viruses. Every one of us has a responsibility to contribute to this effort by:
- practising good hygiene
- practising social distancing
- following the Government’s directions on public gatherings and workplaces, and
- understanding how and when to self-isolate.
The community should speak to their GP &/or TDHS Nurse Immunizer to arrange a flu vaccination over the coming weeks.
TDHS will be keeping the community informed Re: COVID -19 vaccinations as the information comes to hand from the Department of Health & Human Services.
More information on the flu is available at https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-services/flu-influenza-immunisation-service.