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BAYWEST MEDICAL NEWS, Preventative Health

Flu Vaccination and Why should I get it? by Dr Rebecca Levy

Flu or influenza is a respiratory illness causing fever, cough, nasal congestion, headache, body aches and fatigue. It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, but a person can be infectious from 24 hours before they have symptoms.
Whilst most cases of flu are not severe, it can cause or worsen other health problems, such as pneumonia and COPD. It can even increase risk of heart attack and stroke.

People who have a higher risk of severe illness are strongly recommended to get vaccinated:
• people aged over 65 years
• people with certain medical conditions
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
• pregnant women
• children aged 6 months to 5 years

Flu viruses change/mutate often, so each year the vaccine is updated with the strains that were circulating in the Northern Hemisphere during their winter the previous year. The vaccine does not contain live viruses, so you can’t get flu from the vaccine. You may however, get some mild symptoms such as lethargy and headache, which is a sign your immune system is responding.

Flu vaccination reduces your risk of contracting influenza and passing it onto others. The risk of having severe illness is mitigated as your immune system can recognise the invading virus earlier, and mount a quick response with antibodies.

So far this year, there have been over 12,000 reported cases of flu in Queensland. The QLD government are covering the cost of flu vaccines for ALL people (who don’t already belong to one of the higher risk groups)

The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines, such as Covid-19 and Shingles vaccines.

Click here to make an appointment for your free flu vaccine today!

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