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Protect Yourself Against The Flu

Western Australia has seen the highest number of recorded influenza cases prior to the official winter flu season commencing. The following information from the Western Australian Department of Health website may help you with any questions you may have about the flu vaccine.

Why should people aged 65 years and over get the flu vaccine?

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a highly contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. People aged 65 years and over are at higher risk of serious complications from flu than other healthy adults and are strongly recommended to get immunised against the flu every year. Even people who are relatively healthy and who rarely get sick are advised to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated against the flu helps to protect others in the community including those who are at greater risk of influenza complications, such as young children, the elderly and those with medical conditions.

When should I get the flu vaccine?

For best protection against flu, people aged 65 years and over are strongly advised to get the flu vaccine every year. The best time to get vaccinated is in late May or in June as vaccine protection may wane around three to four months after getting immunised. Getting vaccinated around late May or in June will provide protection throughout WA’s peak flu season from July to October. Note, after vaccination, it can take up to two weeks to develop protection.

Where can people aged 65 years and over get vaccinated?

Is it available from pharmacies? The flu vaccine is available in metropolitan and country WA from immunisation providers including GP clinics, community health clinics and Aboriginal Medical Services. In 2018, a two-year trial started allowing pharmacies to provide the free flu vaccine to people aged 65 years and over. For further information, contact your GP or immunisation provider.

Source: Department of Health WA website

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