Well here we are in beautiful Autumn – so once again we are encouraging our patients to have the flu shot and to do as much as possible to protect themselves and others in the community. We are now receiving our first free vaccines under the National Immunisation Program and we have plenty of Flu Vax clinics set up so please don’t worry if you can’t find a spot immediately and there’s no need to rush.
The flu vaccine is available free of charge to people in these categories:
- All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Children 6 months to less than five years
- Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
- All people aged 65 and over- people aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of complications following influenza infections. Example – those with severe asthma, lung or heart disease, renal disease, low immunity or diabetes mellitus.
- If you don’t fit these categories, QSMC Moruya has influenza vaccines available for people five years and older to purchase for $25. At QSMC Broulee and Tuross our doctors can provide prescriptions for you to have filled at our local pharmacies – you can then return to have your vaccination by our practice nurse.
Dr Neil Starmer has found some excellent reading about the flu and the vaccines available this season on The Conversation site. Remember, your doctor will advise you which vaccine is best for you. Use these links to these recommended articles:
Our registered practice nurse Lisa has this good advice on simple prevention strategies we should all adopt for our own protection and for those who may not be able to have a flu shot, such as babies under six months and those with some medical conditions.
Remember you can pass on the virus just by being out and about – this is why prevention is better than catching the flu.
- Wash your hands as often as possible – it’s a wise infection control habit at all times.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing – using your elbow to cover your mouth and nose is good “etiquette”.
- Dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands.
- Avoid sharing eating and drinking utensils and towels.
- Treat mild cold and flu symptoms at home – these are both viral illnesses and antibiotics do not work for a cold or flu – do see your doctor if fever and symptoms persist.
- If you have cold or flu symptoms stay at home, do not spread the virus to your work colleagues and others.
- If you attend QSMC Moruya, Broulee or Tuross and you have flu or cold symptoms please wear a disposable face mask at all times while at the practice and please use the antiseptic hand rub – these are provided in our waiting rooms.
Also see information on this site: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/Influenza/Pages/default.aspx