Don’t take the risk – get your flu shot in 2021!

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is encouraging Gippslanders to book in and receive their flu shot.

Ms Bath said the worldwide coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and subsequent stay at home orders resulted in many people not receiving their flu shot last year.

“With the return of community activities, public and private gatherings and employees returning to the workplace, it’s timely to issue a reminder on the importance of receiving a flu shot.

“Influenza vaccinations are quick and accessible, with both local GP’s and pharmacies offering the health service,” said Ms Bath.

“Timing your flu shot not within 14 days of your coronavirus vaccine this year will be an important consideration.”

There are two types of flu shots available this season, the standard shot and a high dose for people over 65, available only through GP clinics.

Influenza as a communicable disease is reduced by the same activities that we use for coronavirus and the common cold.

Ms Bath said physical distancing, washing and sanitising hands and staying home if you’re unwell all helps spread of influenza.

“It is very important that flu is taken seriously and not ignored due to our focus on the current coronavirus pandemic and vaccine.

“As the winter months approach the community will need the extra layer of protection provided by the influenza immunisation.

“Flu is much more than a headache or congested nose that passes in a week.  It has potential to leave you seriously unwell and bedridden for weeks.

“Influenza can spread quickly from one person to another, with the young, elderly and sick most at risk.

“Even if you’re a healthy adult, it’s still important to receive a vaccination to limit the spread of disease and protect vulnerable people living in our community.”

Many members of the community are eligible for free vaccines under the National Immunisation Program including pregnant women, people aged over 65 years, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over, children aged 6 months to less than 5 years, people with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and complications.