The flu is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that affects the same body parts as the normal cold (nose, throat, and lungs). The flu can cause mild to severe illness and if you have a chronic respiratory condition such as asthma or COPD you are at an increased risk of developing more serious flu symptoms even if your original respiratory condition is mild or well controlled. Also, viral infections are common triggers to asthma flare ups (e.g., cold and flu).
The flu vaccine aims to protect people against specific strains of the virus that is predicted to be prevalent in the season ahead, so it is necessary to have this vaccine yearly before the flu season starts.
Over the past 2 years there has been a decrease in flu cases mainly due to the imposed covid restrictions. Vaccination rates against the flu have also decreased over this period. With the reopening of the borders and easing of restrictions it is expected that influenza cases will rise once more so getting vaccinated and protecting yourself against this virus is very important.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has advised previously about the importance of getting vaccinated against influenza starting ‘the last thing we want to see is patients infected with both influenza and COVID-19’.
Flu vaccinations in Australia are expected to start rolling out soon (March/April 2022) keep an eye out for updates and schedule an appointment to get your shot sooner rather than later! The flu and covid shot can be done on the same day as no waiting period is necessary between them. People who are at higher risk of complications from influenza are eligible for free flu vaccines under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
You can find more information here: https://nt.gov.au/wellbeing/healthy-living/immunisation/flu-vaccination
Please Note: The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends flu vaccination for everyone over 6mths of age. If you had the vaccine in late 2021 or early 2022 it is also advised that you should still have the 2022 flu vaccine formulation.
Other news: 31/03/2022 Casuarina and Palmerston community care have flu vaccines available for over 65 years. They have limited stock so bookings are essential. Please call Palmerston 89 993344 or Casuarina 89 227301 to make your booking.