Influenza, known as the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness.
Each year the flu affects thousands of people and puts an enormous amount of pressure on our hospitals and health system.
Over 3,500 avoidable deaths occur in Australia every year from complications of seasonal flu, including pneumonia.
The flu vaccine is your best shot at stopping the flu.
Special flu shot clinics running for the next month
Attend one of our dedicated flu shot clinics and protect yourself from the flu. Sessions are only 5 minutes!
Your consultation will be bulk billed, while the cost of the vaccine is $15 (unless you’re eligible for a free vaccine – see eligibility below).
The only way to make a booking for these special clinics is by calling 9304 0500.
What are the symptoms of flu?
Flu symptoms can start suddenly like fever, headache, tiredness and muscle aches. Elderly people might also experience confusion while children might get an upset stomach and muscle aches.
Symptoms can last for a week or more. When severe, complications such as pneumonia and worsening of existing medical conditions can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes death.
Why should I get the flu shot?
The flu can hit quickly and last for a few weeks, meaning time off work or school and staying away from family and friends. You never forget the flu!
The flu doesn’t discriminate, and anyone can be affected – that’s why it’s so important that everyone in the community protects themselves against the flu this season by getting their flu shot.
When should I get the flu shot?
Everyone should get an annual flu vaccine anytime from mid-April onwards to be protected for the peak flu season, which is generally June to September.
Am I eligible for the free flu vaccine?
In Victoria, the following people are eligible to receive a free seasonal influenza vaccine:
- children aged six months to less than five years (Victorian state funded program)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from six months
- adults aged 65 and over
- people aged six months and over with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza (e.g. severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes)
- pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy).
For everyone else, the cost of the flu vaccine is $15.
Victorian state funded free vaccination for under 5s
All children aged six months to less than five years old are eligible to receive free influenza vaccination.
All children under nine receiving their flu vaccination for the first time require two doses of vaccine, spaced by a minimum of one month.
Is the flu vaccine safe?
Common side effects may happen within one to two days after the vaccination. These include soreness, redness, discomfort and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, muscle aches and low fever. These side effects are usually mild and go away within a few days, normally without any treatment.
Can the flu vaccine actually give you the flu?
The flu vaccine does not contain any live virus, so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine.
Different vaccines for different age groups
Our team of doctors in Pascoe Vale can advise you and your family which flu vaccine is appropriate for you.
The type of vaccine used depends on the person’s age:
- People aged 6 months to <65 years should receive Quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV).
- People aged ≥65 years should receive one of the enhanced Trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs).
Make an appointment today
To attend a bulk-billed flu shot clinic, please call 9304 0500. This is the only way to make a booking for these special clinics.
To make a regular appointment (during which you can get the flu shot), simply book how you normally do – on our website, on the Appointuit app, via Facebook or by calling 9304 0500.
Remember to get your flu shot early for your best chance of beating the flu!
Source: BetterHealth Channel and Victoria State Government
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.