Discussion about COVID-19 vaccines may be dominating the news at the moment but there's another jab you shouldn't overlook. In the latest in a series of articles aimed at keeping the community healthy, TerryWhite Chemmart Hamilton pharmacist Mark Davis explains what you need to know about influenza and how to protect yourself and your family this season.
Influenza, or the flu, is a common viral infection that attacks the lungs, nose and throat. Young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with chronic disease or weak immune systems are at high risk.
Symptoms vary depending on age and severity, but include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue.
The flu is treated primarily with rest and fluid to let the body fight the infection on its own. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers may help with symptoms.
An annual vaccine can help prevent the flu and limit its complications. This year's vaccine covers four different influenza variations.
Who should get the influenza vaccination?
The flu affects people of all ages. However some people may fall into a the higher risk of complications category from the flu and it is especially important that they look after themselves during flu season (June to August).
These include: babies; people over 65 years; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin adults over 15 years; pregnant women; people with weakened immune systems or chronic health conditions; people who are obese; people who smoke; people who haven't been vaccinated against the flu
People with certain underlying health conditions are at also at greater risk of health complications from the flu. You may even be eligible for a Government funded vaccination, please check with your doctor for further information. They include those with: heart conditions; severe asthma; COPD and other lung conditions; diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2; kidney problems; impaired immunity such as HIV infection; malignant cancers; chronic neurological disorders
At TerryWhite Chemmart Hamilton we recommend everyone getting the flu vaccination every year to protect themselves and their communities. We are able to vaccinate those who are ten years and older.
When should you get the influenza vaccination?
It's best to get vaccinated before flu viruses start to spread in your community.
The vaccine takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.
That is why the team here at TerryWhite Chemmart Hamilton recommend getting your vaccination as soon as possible to ensure your immune system is ready before we enter the flu season.
Please note that if you have had or are planning to get any of the COVID-19 vaccinations this must be done at least two weeks before or after your flu vaccination.
Can I get the influenza vaccine if I'm unwell?
If showing any cold or flu symptoms we and the Government advise to get a COVID-19 test and to stay at home until you are well. We conduct a visual inspection and temperature check before vaccinating to ensure the safety of yourself, other customers and our staff.
How do I book?
The easiest way to book is through this link or by calling us on 02 4961 1269. Booking speeds up the process in-store and enable you to lock in a time that works for you. If you're a business or employer looking to organise vaccinations for your staff, contact us for information around corporate packages.
This is branded content for TerryWhite Chemmart Hamilton.