Queenslanders told to get a jab to protect against the flu
Winter is upon us and with it comes the flu season, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young lined up for a flu vaccination in a bid to encourage all Queenslanders to protect themselves this season.
"Each flu season can bring new strains of the potentially deadly influenza virus, which is why it's so important for all Queenslanders to get vaccinated every year," Dr Young said.
"The strains we vaccinate for in Australia are chosen depending on which strains are most prevalent in the northern hemisphere during their flu season, this year's program will provide a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against two 'A' and two 'B' strains of influenza," she said.
"Queenslander’s eligible for the government-funded influenza vaccine can access it from their doctor or immunisation provider from today.
Those eligible for the funded vaccine are:
- pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
- persons 65 years of age or older
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to 5 years
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 15 years of age or older
- persons 6 months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.
All other Queenslanders could purchase the vaccine from their doctor, immunisation provider or local pharmacist.
"It's 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," said Dr Young.
"Vaccination is key to reducing the spread of certain strains of influenza but it's important to remember it only protects against the flu strains in the vaccine itself, so it won’t stop a person from getting a different strain or a severe cold.
"Good hygiene is very important both before and after you've had a flu jab as the influenza vaccine only protects against the circulating strains that are covered by the vaccine and some other influenza-like illnesses are caused by other viruses."