See your GP for your flu shot now

4 May 2022


Blurred image of vaccination

 

With the flu season underway, it’s time to contact your family GP and book in for your annual influenza vaccination.

As at 24 April, 2,714 cases of influenza had been confirmed around Australia, compared with just 598 cases in the entire year of 2021 when international borders were closed, most of the nation was in lockdown at some stage, and social distancing, mask wearing and increased hygiene requirements were enforced.

Queensland has recorded 356 cases so far this year. No deaths have yet been recorded.

“We knew that with interstate and international borders open and public health requirements relaxed, influenza would make a comeback,” AMA Queensland President Professor Chris Perry said.

“Flu is a serious disease. Queensland had one of its worst flu seasons in two decades in 2019, with almost 70,000 lab-confirmed cases and 264 deaths.

“If you’re eligible for your COVID booster shot, you can have it at the same time as your flu jab.

“If you are not yet eligible for the COVID booster, or have been infected with COVID within the past three months, you can still have your flu shot now while you wait for your booster.”

“If you’ve had COVID-19, then you can still get the flu shot if you’ve ended isolation and are feeling well but it’s a good idea to book it in with your GP so you can be sure there are no lingering respiratory issues.”

AMA Queensland Committee of General Practice Chair Dr Maria Boulton said family GPs are leading the way in flu vaccinations.

“In 2021, 67 per cent of all flu shots were administered in general practices, and so far this year GPs have delivered more than 1.4 million of the 2.1 million doses reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR),” Dr Boulton said.

“Remember that your family GP has your full medical history and background knowledge of your health, and a vaccination is a good opportunity to have an overall health check.

“There is more than one influenza vaccine – talk to your GP to ensure you are getting the right one and that it is uploaded to your health record to prevent fragmentation of care.

“Children aged between six months and five years, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of six months, and people aged six months and older with certain medical conditions are eligible for free flu vaccines under the National Immunisation Program.

“Your family GP will ensure that you are not paying for a vaccine that you are entitled to have for free.”


Published: 4 May 2022