It’s time to get the flu shot

Have you had the flu shot yet?

If you haven’t now is the time to get it.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president George Tambassis says it’s especially important for all Australians to be vaccinated against the flu this year.

“The ongoing COVID-19 crisis highlights how critical it is to remain as healthy as possible to have a stronger resistance to catching it, or to recover quickly if you do catch it,” he said.

“Australia is in the unenviable situation of having to deal with the crisis at a time of the year when we usually face the onset of the flu season.”

Community pharmacies across the country now have trained pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations.

Additional supplies ordered by the government have now been delivered, which means community pharmacies generally have stocks on hand ready to vaccinate patients.

The flu is a virus which affects the respiratory tract and is usually worse in the winter months.

Symptoms include tiredness, fever, chills, headache, cough, sneezing and runny nose, and muscle aches.

For some people, catching the flu can be life threatening.

Vaccination is important as you not only protect yourself, but also those unable to be vaccinated or at higher risk of complications including the elderly and babies.

People with poor immune systems or chronic illness, and those with respiratory and/or heart conditions, or diabetes are especially at risk.

Mr Tambassis says everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot.

However, pharmacies in most states and territories can only vaccinate those 10 years and older.

“One of the great benefits of being able to get your vaccination in your pharmacy is that we have found it results in a large number of people getting immunised for the first time,” he said.

“In the past they have not had the time to go through the whole process but now just walking into their pharmacy makes it easy, so they are protected against the virus for the first time.

“This is a great health outcome for consumers across Australia.”