Territorians urged to protect themselves against flu

Territorians are being urged to protect themselves againstthe flu (influenza) this season with vaccinations available through your GP, communityclinic or pharmacy.

Anyone can get influenza and theinfection can be serious even in healthy people.

Influenzavaccine is available on the National immunisation Program for all eligiblepeople.

People noteligible for the funded vaccine can purchase the vaccine through their GP orpharmacy.

The influenza vaccine is FREE for the following:

  • All children aged 6 months to 5 years

  • All Aboriginal people aged 6 months and over.

  • People aged 65 years and older.

  • Pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy

  • People aged 6 months and over with conditionspredisposing them to complications from influenza.

Everyone who wants to protect themselves from influenza is encouraged tobe vaccinated. If more people are vaccinated, less disease will circulate andthe number of hospitalisations and deaths from influenza infection willdecrease.

The influenza vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It does notcontain any live virus, so people cannot catch influenza from having thevaccine.

It does take about 2 weeks after vaccination, however, for the body todevelop its protection against influenza.

Treatment for influenza includes rest, increased fluid and pain reliefand antiviral treatment can be considered.

Adults are infectious from the day prior to and up to 7 days after theonset of symptoms while children may remain infectious for 10 days.

Community pharmacists who have completed specific training are able toadminister vaccinations for adults.

Community pharmacies, with their ease of access and long opening hours,increase coverage and complement other vaccination providers like GPs andnurses.

As noted bythe Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles:

Vaccination is especially important forpeople at higher risk of serious influenza complications and for people wholive with or care for high risk individuals including health care workers andthose working in aged care facilities, but I encourage everyone to bevaccinated.

While the flu is a common illness its important toremember infections can be serious even for healthy people.

Being able toget a flu shot at your pharmacy greatly assists the communitys access toprotection against the flu.

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