Vaccinations to protect Australians against four strains of this year’s influenza virus are still available – and are free of charge to those most at risk of getting sick this flu season.
Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin MP, has highlighted the value of getting a flu vaccination through your local community pharmacy by getting his shot this year at the Gambier City Chemmart Pharmacy.
“I urge all Australians to consider getting a flu shot this year if they haven’t already,” Mr Pasin said.
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for any person six months of age and older, with vaccines also available on the private market. It’s important to get the flu shot every year, as the virus changes year to year.
Flu shots are available at general practices and other vaccination providers – including community pharmacists.
Proprietor of Gambier City Chemmart Pharmacy, Jennifer Maloney, said that having pharmacists deliver vaccinations was a huge benefit for consumers.
“In the short time that community pharmacists have been allowed to administer the vaccine there has been a high percentage of people being vaccinated for the first time,” Ms Maloney said.
The flu shot this year will cover two A strains of influenza (Michigan and Hong Kong) and two B strains of influenza (Brisbane and Phuket).
All influenza vaccines available in Australia have been through stringent safety testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis.
The influenza jab does not contain any live virus, so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine.
“High vaccination rates contribute to a healthy society. That’s why in 2017, through the National Immunisation Program (NIP), the Coalition Government will provide more than 4.5 million doses of the influenza vaccine for free,” Mr Pasin said.
Under the NIP, those eligible for a free flu shot include people aged 65 years and over, most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who suffer from chronic conditions.
Pregnant women are also eligible for a free flu shot. It’s safe to receive at any stage of pregnancy and not only protects Mum, but baby too.
Influenza vaccines are age-specific, so ask your pharmacist or doctor about the best vaccine for you or your child’s circumstances.
For more information visit the Immunise Australia website at: www.immunise.health.gov.au
Contact: Charlotte Edmunds – 8531 2466