As the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase, vaccinating for the flu is now strongly advised by health professionals to protect Australians from further illness.
The experts from Australian consumer company CHOICE said the flu shot is crucial during the COVID-19 global crisis and encourage every one older than six months to get it this year unless they are allergic or ill already.
The best time to get the flu shot is in late autumn – no earlier or later – and in Australia this is the time period between late April and early May.
This strategic timing offers protection during the flu season’s peak between June and September in Australia, though doesn’t provide complete immunity.
The flu vaccine won’t protect you from COVID-19, but a reduction in flu infections will help relieve the strain on the medical system and reduce the risk of people having both infections at once.
Health authorities are encouraging all people from the age of six months and older to get vaccinated this season
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 2,675
New South Wales: 1,219
Western Australia: 205
South Australia: 197
Australian Capital Territory: 44
Northern Territory: 5
TOTAL CASES: 2,675
If the injection is offered too early or late this will impact the vaccination’s effect and may lower outcome and re-vaccination later in the season is not recommended by doctors.
This year due to the coronavirus outbreak, CHOICE revealed ‘record amounts of the vaccine’ will be accessible.
The government’s National Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program will provide free vaccinations to eligible people from mid-April 2020.
CHOICE also outlined as of May 1, 2020, those who have not had the flu shot will not be able to visit nursing homes or aged care facilities.
What you need to know about the flu shot
* The ideal time to get a flu shot is late April to early May and no earlier or later
* The vaccine isn’t 100% effective, but if you do get the flu, being vaccinated should help reduce the severity of symptoms
* Flu viruses are constantly mutating, so the flu vaccine changes every year to keep up with the most common strains
* Getting an annual flu shot is the single most important and effective measure in preventing the illness
* Vaccination also helps prevent its spread through the community – the more people who are vaccinated, the better
* The protection develops two weeks after getting the injection and lasts several months
* People aged 6 months to 5 years, 65 and over, all Indigenous Australians over 6 months, people with certain medical conditions and pregnant women can get a free flu vaccine
* Enhanced vaccines that provide better protection are available for people 65 and over
* The flu shot does not give you the flu
The flu vaccine won’t protect you from COVID-19, but a reduction in flu infections will help relieve the strain on the medical system
CHOICE revealed the best time to get the flu shot is in late autumn and no earlier – in Australia this is between late April to early May
In previous years not everyone chose to get vaccinated, but this year health authorities are strongly encouraging those who can have a flu shot to get one.
CHOICE explained the vaccine takes effect after two weeks then offers the ‘best protection’ during flu season.
The flu vaccine is free for certain groups of people including all children aged between six months to five years old, all people over 65, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and over, pregnant woman and those with existing medical conditions aged six months and older.
Generally the flu shot varies in price but is often inexpensive and ranging between $15 to $25.
You can get the flu shot through your local GP or medical centre. As you don’t need a script to get the flu vaccine, some chemists such as Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Amcal, TerryWhite and others offer the flu shot through flu clinics.