As the world focuses on the roll-out of critically important new vaccines to protect against COVID-19, there remains a need to ensure routine vaccinations are not missed, including the annual flu shot.
Council is urging members of the community to protect themselves from seasonal influenza by getting immunised before the peak flu period hits.
Receiving a flu vaccination before flu season provides optimal protection in the peak period of influenza, usually from June to September in most parts of Australia.
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory infection with the potential to cause serious complications, particularly among young children, seniors and people with certain medical conditions.
Council offers free flu vaccination for eligible community members. Those not eligible to receive the free vaccine can still obtain their flu vaccine on a user-pays basis.
Protect yourself and others from the flu this year by booking an appointment online at one of Council’s Public Immunisation sessions.
Residents can also speak to their GP, pharmacist or another immunisation provider to arrange a flu vaccination.
Vaccination experts recommend flu vaccination for all people aged six months and over.
Councillor Tony Dib, one of Council’s representatives on the Maroondah Community Health and Wellbeing Committee, said that while it could happen at any time, it was more common to catch the flu, or experience flu-like symptoms, in the colder months of the year.
“World Immunisation Week (24 April to 30 April) is coming up, which is a great opportunity to check that you and your family are up-to-date with your vaccinations. And with flu season fast approaching, now is a good time to take preventative measures to keep you and your family from getting sick,” Cr Dib said.
“We are encouraging our community to get immunised against seasonal influenza, with the flu vaccine offered free to our most vulnerable groups through the National Immunisation Program (NIP),” he said.
According to the Australian Government Department of Health, behaviours such as increased hand hygiene and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic have helped stem the spread of flu viruses, which reached historically low levels in Australia last year.
“Health authorities are now predicting a possible rise in the number of flu cases later this year following the easing of COVID-related restrictions, such as wearing face masks, which may lead to flu viruses recirculating in the community,” Cr Dib said.
“Vaccination is the single most effective way of preventing the spread of flu in our community and getting vaccinated now will protect you before the peak flu period, which is usually around June to September,” he said.
“When you book in for your flu shot, it’s important to remember to let our vaccination team or your vaccination provider know if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, and when you received it. This will help them to plan your appointment,” Cr Dib added.
Vaccination experts recommend waiting 14 days between getting a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine.
Groups eligible for the free seasonal influenza vaccine include:
- Children aged from 6 months to under 5 years old (up to 4 years and 11 months)
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Those aged six months and over with medical conditions predisposing them to influenza (i.e. respiratory disease, low immunity, severe asthma).
Children under the age of nine receiving the flu vaccine for the first time will require two doses with at least four weeks between each dose. You will also need to bring the Children Immunisation Record Book (green book) and any previous vaccination history.
Council’s immunisation service has full accreditation in compliance with AS/NZS iSO 9001 Quality Standards.
Council’s highly experienced immunisation team also offers a school-based immunisation program, a corporate flu immunisation program and free immunisation advice.
Workplace Flu Program
Council also offers influenza vaccinations to eligible Maroondah businesses.
Businesses must be located within the City of Maroondah and have 20 or more employees who want to receive the vaccine.
Workplace Flu Program request forms are available online