2019 Private & Government funded Influenza Vaccines are now available – With winter just around the corner, it is time to consider taking steps to protect you and your family from ‘the flu’. Influenza, or ‘the flu’ is a viral infection of the airways and the lungs. In most cases, it causes an illness associated with fevers, muscles aches, tiredness, with coughing, runny noses and sore throats. Most people will recover after one week. However, severe complications such as pneumonia may occur, especially for young children, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
You can help reduce the spread of the illness by taking some simple hygiene precautions. Washing your hands regular, staying at home when you are unwell, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing will all help reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting the illness.
Vaccination is the most effective way to protect you and your family from the flu.
The vaccine is now available at Banyo Clinic. (A fee for the vaccine may apply, though it is available free through the government funded program for people older than 65 years of age, and those with eligible chronic health conditions. You can find out from your doctor whether you might be eligible for a free influenza vaccine.)
Bookings & inquiries regarding our Flu Clinic can be made by phoning reception on 07 3267 5088
2019 influenza vaccination guidelines
Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications and is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over.
Free vaccines will be available to eligible Queenslanders from mid-April.
The 2019 seasonal influenza vaccines for the southern hemisphere include the following strains:
- • A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus
- • A (H3N2): an A/Switzerland 8060/2017 (H3N2) like virus
- • B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
- • B: a B/Colorado/06/2017 like virus (not included in the TIVs) Best timing for vaccination It is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round. Vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating and a valid vaccine (before expiration date) is available. Some vaccine brands now have an expiry date of February 2020. Revaccination late in the same year for individuals who have already received a vaccination is not routinely recommended, although not contraindicated. Revaccination may be considered for people travelling to the Northern Hemisphere in late 2019, who were vaccinated in early 2019 before the Southern Hemisphere influenza season occurred. An individual’s risk factors, risk of disease and current circulating virus strains should be taken into consideration before recommending a second dose. A second dose is not funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and the individual will need to pay for the vaccine and consultation fee, if applicable. Generally, influenza vaccines are funded under the state and national immunisation programs for the following groups due to their increased risk of complications from influenza:
- Who is eligible?
- It is also important to remind people that the vaccine isn’t immediately effective, and it generally takes 10 to 14 days to be fully protected after vaccination.
- The timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during the peak of the influenza season. This usually occurs from June to September in most parts of Australia. Vaccinating from April provides protection before the peak season takes place. While protection is generally expected to last for the whole season, the best protection against influenza occurs within the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.
- • all children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age (State funded)
- • pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy (influenza and whooping cough vaccination can be given at the same time OR at different times during pregnancy). More information about whooping cough and influenza vaccination for pregnant women is available
- • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- • individuals aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications (for a full list go to NCIRS Influenza Vaccines Fact Sheet)
- • persons 65 years and older. All other Queenslanders can purchase the vaccine from their doctor or immunisation provider.
Only one government-funded influenza vaccine is available for eligible people each year, with the exception of children up to 9 years of age who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time. These children require and are funded for 2 doses.