Last flu season, researchers recorded that about 220,000 Australians were diagnosed with influenza. The death toll reaching over 430 Australians last flu season, with flu vaccinations being distributed to over 12.5 million of us over that time.
What you need to know
The peak flu season in Australia is typically from June to July.
Symptoms that are associated with the flu include:
- Sneezing or running nose
- Poor appetite
- Muscle aches
It is important to keep updated with your flu vaccinations. The strains of flu virus change from year to year, making the latest vaccinations target any new strains. Experts recommend patients to keep up with their jabs as the flu vaccination is not long lasting.
Flu jabs in Australia are recommended to at-risk groups who are likely to have serious complications from the sickness. These groups have access to free vaccinations as part of a public immunisation program. Experts warn that influenza is highly contagious, so anyone who is in contact with high-risk groups should also be vaccinated.
Who do they help the most?
The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that at-risk groups should be vaccinated.
- Elderly Australians- 65s and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders- 50 years and over
- Suffers of chronic illnesses (over 6 months of age)
- Pregnant women
- Residents and staff of care facilities.
Who can get the jab for free?
A combination of State and National funding means that many at-risk groups can get the flu vaccine for free:
- Children aged 6 months-5 years
- People aged 6 months and older with medical conditions that may cause complications if they contract influenza
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- Pregnant women.
Schedule a flu vaccine
If you or your loved ones are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to contact a health care professional. 13 DOCTOR recommends that every Australian get the jab when necessary to prevent the flu in 2020.