Ashleigh Rees, David Rees and Carolyn Girle of Shortis and Timmins Pharmacy. Image Contributed.

FLU VACCINATIONS CRITICAL

Editorial.

There was a record 18 million flu vaccinations conducted in Australia in 2020, an increase from 13.2 million flu vaccinations in 2019.

This unprecedented demand for flu vaccinations demonstrated we prioritised our health amongst the chaos of the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak. With record numbers of immunisations, along with public health restrictions such as social distancing and stay-at-home orders for most of the winter season, there was a decrease in influenza activity levels in 2020.

So why are we talking about this now? Flu vaccinations are critical in protecting against influenza which causes more than 650,000 deaths worldwide every year.

You should get the influenza vaccine every year because your immunity reduces over time and the strains of the virus that cause influenza change from year to year, so the vaccines are updated every year to protect against the most common strains.

Timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during the peak of the season, which usually occurs from June to September. Vaccinating from April provides this optimal protection.

By getting vaccinated against influenza, you can also help to protect other people who may be too sick or too young to be vaccinated themselves or who may be particularly vulnerable to complications, such as young children, the elderly and people with chronic illness. The more people who are vaccinated in our community, the less likely influenza will spread.

Our pharmacists at Shortis & Timmins Pharmacy are all accredited Pharmacist Immunisers and can give the flu vaccination without a doctor’s prescription. This year we are also able to offer workplace flu clinics, so contact us to find out more information. While we recommend all people over the age of 6 months receive the vaccine, even if you are healthy, we are only able to vaccinate adults and children over the age of ten years and some patients are eligible for a free flu vaccine from their preferred GP. Speak to one of our pharmacists if you have any questions.

Contributed by Ashleigh Rees.

Last Updated: 05/05/2021By

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