Queenslanders get ready to get their flu shot this flu season

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles is reminding Queenslanders to book in for their flu shot ahead of this year’s peak flu season.

“It’s so important for Queenslanders to get vaccinated every year because it’s the best way to protect yourself from the flu,” he said.

“The best time to get vaccinated is sometime between mid-April through to the end of May, to ensure the best protection during the peak of the season.

“That means you can start booking in with your GP or pharmacist now.

“I encourage everyone to start planning for their flu vaccination.

Mr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government funded vaccines for at-risk Queenslanders.

“The government provides free vaccines for children under five, pregnant women, Queenslanders over the age of 65 and all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people,” he said.

“These vaccines are now on their way to providers and eligible Queenslanders should book in to get their free jab from mid to late April.”

So far this year, Queensland Health has received 6,525 notifications of lab confirmed influenza, up from 3,318 at the same time last year.

Those eligible for the government-funded vaccine include:

  • all children aged six months to less than five years
  • pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
  • persons 65 years of age or older
  • all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 6 months of age and older
  • persons six months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

All other Queenslanders can purchase the vaccine from their doctor or immunisation provider.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said while it’s never too late to be vaccinated, timing should be considered.

“The latest expert advice is that while protection from vaccination is expected to last for the whole season, the best protection is provided in the three to four months following vaccination,” she said.

“Flu season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August.

“That’s why we recommend vaccinating sometime between mid-April through to the end of May, to ensure the best protection during the peak of the season.

“It’s also important for the public to be aware that the vaccine isn’t immediately effective – it generally takes 10 to 14 days to be fully protected after vaccination.

“Everyone needs to be vigilant when it comes to the flu, as the complications can be deadly.

“The message remains the same: get vaccinated every year because it is the best way of protecting yourself against the flu.

“Basic hygiene practices will also alleviate the spread of flu, such as proper hand washing, covering a cough with a tissue, and staying home when sick.”

Data:

Summer 18/19 (December, January & February) –6,300 notifications

Summer 17/18 (December, January & February) –3,000 notifications

Winter 18 (June, July, August) –3,300 notifications

Winter 17 (June, July, August) –36,000 notifications

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