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We have had many enquiries about when people should have their influenza vaccine.

The following points below explain the situation but it can best be summarised as:

We should all have the flu vaccine, it should be given in May and recent changes to the vaccines mean that you local General Practice is the best place to have it done.

When should I have the flu needle?

  • The peak time for influenza infection in Australia is about August
  • We now know that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine starts to diminish after about 3-4 months
  • We recommend people be vaccinated from mid April through to the end of May
  • If you miss out at these times, it is still very worthwhile to be vaccinated at any time over winter. Immunity develops 2-3 weeks after the vaccination.

Do I need the flu needle?

 

  • Influenza is a potentially serious and unpleasant illness in everyone
  • We recommend influenza vaccines for everyone over the age of 6 months
  • Certain groups are eligible for free Government supplied flu vaccines administered by their local doctor
  • These groups are particularly at risk of complications with the flu and include:
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Pregnant women no matter what stage of pregnancy
  • People 6 months and over with certain medical conditions putting them at risk of complications. These include:
    • Heart disease
    • Chronic lung disease including asthma
    • Neurological disease
    • A compromised immune system
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease
    • Chronic blood diseases

Who should give me the flu needle?

  • This year there are 5 different brands of influenza vaccine supplied and not all are suitable at particular ages
  • One of these brands is specifically for people over the age of 65 and is only provided through the National Immunisation Program (not privately through pharmacies)
  • The brand available most suitable to those over 65 years of age is only provided through General Practices and is free. You can not get this through a pharmacy
  • Given this complexity we believe your GP practice is best placed to provide the most suitable brand of vaccine for your age and health circumstance.

At Busselton Medical Practice we have expertise in immunisation of all types. From mid April and through May we encourage you to contact us to arrange an influenza vaccine for yourself and your family. Just let our receptionists know you would like a flu needle and they will arrange a convenient time to have it done quickly, easily and safely.