Flu Season is Here – Get Vaccinated ASAP

Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre is conveniently located in Lane Cove Village.  They are frequently asked why it is important for children to have the flu vaccine.  They told ITC the following:

Flu is More Than Just a Cold

As GPs, we often get asked if children should receive a Flu vaccination. The short answer is “YES”! Influenza is more than just a cold. It is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause serious illness and even death. Apart from cold-like symptoms, it can cause fever, loss of appetite, headache, body aches, fatigue and malaise – especially for our little ones. It also results in loss of productivity and time off work and school, which is the last thing we need after 2 years of lockdowns!

Some people are at higher risk of serious illness and complications from the flu, so they can receive a FREE vaccine under the National Immunisation Program. These groups include children aged between 6 months and 5 years, pregnant women, people aged 65 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 6 months and people with a chronic illnesses such as asthma or diabetes. It is recommended that EVERYONE over the age of 6 months have a flu shot.

Lower Protection Against the Flu Vaccine

During the recent COVID pandemic, we saw virtually no cases of the flu. This resulted in lower influenza vaccination uptake, less exposure to influenza, and lower protection against the virus.  This year, however, is already looking very different.  In the first two weeks of May, there were 5601 new cases of influenza in NSW, with approximately one in 5 of those in children under 10 years of age. Only about 7.5% of this age group have been vaccinated against the flu, which is concerning. With international borders now open, the end of mandatory mask-wearing and the easing of social restrictions, case numbers of influenza are set to climb sharply. So too will influenza-related hospital admissions.

2022 Flu Season to Be Longer and More Severe

The 2022 flu season is likely to be longer and more severe. Many local schools have experienced significant cases numbers of influenza among students. Boarding schools and daycare centres are particularly high-risk settings for the transmission of influenza.

The best way to protect your children against the flu is by getting them vaccinated. The influenza vaccine offers protection against 4 viral strains that are most prevalent in our community.

You Can Catch the Flu More Than Once

As there are multiple strains of influenza, you can catch the flu more than once in the same season. This means more time off work, school and recreation! The flu vaccine can be given simultaneously as other childhood recommended vaccines. It can also be co-administered with covid-19 vaccines, on the same day. So don’t wait for the flu to hit, arm yourself today. If you have any questions or comments, please email here or come and see us at the clinic.

Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre Contact Details

Address: 118-120 Longueville Road Lane Cove
Phone: 8319 8888
Website: https://www.lanecovedoctorsmedicalcentre.com.au/

This article was written by Dr Georgina Olesnicky, FRACGP, MBBS, DCH, BA/BSW

This article is not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a medical professional. Health information should always be carefully reviewed by your doctor.