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Don’t risk getting the flu this season

Pile of newspapers wrapped in string.

Monday 25 May 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council is encouraging residents to get their influenza (flu) vaccinations to reduce the chance of getting the flu this season.

Local general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacies are offering flu vaccinations.

The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone aged six months and over. It is provided free for those most at risk from influenza and its complications, including those aged 65 years and over.

From this year, children aged six months to less than five years are also eligible for free influenza vaccines under the National Immunisation Program.

“Vaccination offers effective protection against the flu, and recommended each year as flu viruses are always changing.” said Tracey Watson, Public and Environmental Health Coordinator, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“It’s best to get your shot before winter to allow time for your immunity to be strengthened before the flu season traditionally starts,” she said.

“In addition to providing individual benefits, getting your flu shot will also provide greater community health protection throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and help relieve the pressure on our health system.”

Influenza is a highly contagious disease which is spread by body fluids from infected people. Symptoms include a runny nose and sore throat.

Unlike the common cold, flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

Flu can affect anyone but is especially dangerous for older people, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, very young children and those with underlying medical conditions.

To organise your flu vaccination, contact your doctor or local pharmacy.

This year our Maternal and Child Health Centre is offering the flu vaccination to eligible babies and young children for free. For more information or to make an appointment at the Maternal and Child Health Centre contact 5472 1364.

Council also recommends that community members continue to make an appointment with their GP for routine health matters at this time of social isolation.

For more information on vaccination visit the Immunise Australia website www.health.gov.au/immunisation.

Council is currently liaising with local schools to arrange the annual school immunisation program.

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