Did you know that about 3,000 Australians die every year, either directly from the seasonal flu, complications due to the flu, or pneumonia?
So, it stands that if you or a loved one fall within the high-risk groups described below, then the most effective way to avoid the inconvenience of having the flu or potential associated health risks is to book at appointment with your GP and have your free flu shot.
Individuals at risk, who are eligible for a free flu vaccine include:
- Pregnant women
- Persons aged 65 or over
- Persons who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and are aged 6 months to less than 5 years, or 15 years and older
- Persons aged 6 months and older with specified medical conditions that put them at increased risk of influenza complications
Amazingly, even though the flu vaccine is available free to pregnant women, only 30% actually receive the vaccine.
The Australian Government Department of Heath urges that influenza vaccination of pregnant women will reduce the risk of complications from influenza infection in both the pregnant woman and the foetus during pregnancy and also protects the infant against influenza in the first 6 months of life.
Even though young children are not entitled to a free influenza vaccine, it is common knowledge that children under the age of two are also highly susceptible to flu.
And it’s a very sad fact, but most children who die from the flu or flu related illnesses are not vaccinated and have no underlying medical conditions known or risk factors, therefore the idea that fit, healthy infants can simply ‘fight it off’ is not always true.
If you have any concerns that you may fall into a high risk category for influenza or are interested in finding out about influenza vaccinations for young children, we urge to you make an appointment with your GP for more information.