FEDERAL Member for Patterson, Meryl Swanson has already taken the flu shot and is pressing people to do the same.
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With the 2020 flu season not far away, the community is urged — and especially those in vulnerable groups or age brackets— to arrange vaccination against seasonal influenza.
Ms Swanson said, “It’s super important for people to have their flu shot at this time of the year.”
Whilst flu vaccination does not prevent against COVID-19, a flu vaccination is critical to protecting the general health of people from influenza.
The National Immunisation Program provides free vaccines to those most at risk, including:
• Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy;
• All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older;
• People aged 65 years and older;
• People aged six months and older with certain medical risk factors; and
• For the first time, all children aged between six months and five years.
Receiving a vaccination from April provides optimal protection in the peak period of influenza circulation, usually from June to September in most parts of Australia.
This year it is even more important to be vigilant about the flu because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While there is not yet a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19, vaccination provides an effective defence against the flu.
Vaccinating against the flu will reduce the risk of a very dangerous double-up of flu and coronavirus—both diseases affecting the respiratory system.
Vaccinated people of all ages are less likely to get the flu and if they do, are less likely to have a severe case. Fewer cases and fewer severe cases of flu will result in less demand on our health care system.
The actions that we take to slow the spread of COVID-19 can also stop the spread of influenza and other viruses. Every one of us has a responsibility to contribute to this effort by:
• Practising good hygiene
• Practising social distancing
• Following the Government’s directions on public gatherings and workplaces, and
• Understanding how and when to self-isolate.
More information on the flu is available at https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-services/flu-influenza-immunisation-service.