It's time for your flu vaccine.jpg
The Flu Shot is available now

 

The new flu vaccine is now available from Annandale Family Doctors with vaccines available for everyone including over 65's and under 5's. Australia experienced a mild flu season in 2020 with the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions limiting the spread of flu viruses. With Flu Season just around the corner we encourage you to book in to get the flu shot.

Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications. It is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless contraindicated).

Free vaccines are available to eligible patients. These are provided through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for people most at risk. 

What is Influenza?

Influenza, or the flu, infects your respiratory system such as the nose, throat and lungs. The flu mainly spreads by coughing, sneezing, talking, and by touching a person’s hands, surface or object. It can cause mild to severe illness, causing complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, leading to death.

 

Eligibility for influenza vaccines through the NIP

Annual Influenza Vaccination continues to be the most important measure to prevent influenza and its' complications

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza:

  • All people aged 6 months to less than 5 years (this cohort is newly eligible in 2020)

  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over

  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)

  • All people aged 65 years and over

  • People aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

This is due to their increased risk of complications from influenza.

Best timing for vaccination

The timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during the peak of the influenza season. Flu season is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August.

Vaccinating from April provides protection before the peak season takes place. While protection is generally expected to last for the whole season, the best protection against influenza occurs within the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.

It is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round. Vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating and a valid vaccine (before expiration date) is available.

It is also important to know that the vaccine is not immediately effective and it generally takes 10 to 14 days to be fully protected.

Vaccine strains

The 2021 seasonal influenza vaccines for the southern hemisphere include the following strains:

  • Egg-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines

  • Cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines

  • an A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

  • an A/Wisconsin/588/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

  • an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus

  • an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus

  • a B/Washington/02/2019-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

  • a B/Washington/02/2019-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus

  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus

 

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised the preferred minimum interval between a seasonal influenza and COVID-19 vaccination available in Australia is 14 days.

 

Annandale Family Doctors also has private flu vaccine stocks available for those not eligible for government funded vaccinations. ​Simply contact us to book a consultation and flu shot. It is important to note that while the vaccine is free, a consultation fee may apply.

For more information on flu from NSW Health, click here

10 tips to fight flu

See also Flu and COVID-19