For the first time, Australia will be managing COVID-19 and an influenza (flu) season at the same time.
After two years of COVID-19 restrictions, Australia has skipped the worst of the annual flu season, which means our immune systems aren’t necessarily as robust as they’d normally be. This in part is why we’re now seeing such a surge in cases.
To combat the rise in cases, all state and territory governments have made the Influenza vaccine free. You do not have to be an Australian citizen or have a Medicare to be eligible to get the shot which gives you the best chance at fighting the flu.
Although influenza is generally considered a mild disease, it can cause very serious illness in otherwise healthy people, resulting in hospitalisation and even death.
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from serious disease caused by influenza.
You should get your annual influenza vaccine anytime between April onwards to be protected for peak flu season, which is generally June to September. The highest level of protection occurs in the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.
While flu cases surge, it is important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away. Now is an important time to make sure you are to date with your booster shots and to get your fourth COVID-19 booster if you are eligible.
You can get your fourth COVID-19 booster (if eligible) at the same time as your flu vaccination.
The lessons from COVID-19 are important to follow this flu season as well.
Make sure you keep up with the local health advice. Always wash your hands and stay home if you're sick. It is still mandatory across all states and territories to wear face masks on public transport and recommended in doors as well when social distancing isn't possible.
To find out where you can get your free flu vaccine head to https://www.findapharmacy.com.au/home/flu-vaccine
To check your eligibility and to book a COVID-19 booster head to https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking/
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