2017 Flu Vaccinations
During Influenza season it’s important to keep you and your family protected against the ‘flu’ by getting vaccinated. As the flu is highly contagious, flu prevention should be taken seriously. Flu is an unpleasant and potentially life threatening illness for the young, frail and the aged.
Our Doctors have answered some common questions about flu vaccinations below:
When will the 2017 Flu Vaccinations be available?
This year’s flu vaccinations have now arrived and are available at all SmartClinics Medical Centres (except for The Gap, Walton Bridge and Ferny Hills clinics).
I received a flu shot in 2016, do I still need to get a 2017 flu shot?
Yes. The strains of flu virus can change from year to year. The vaccine may also change to protect against the most recent flu virus strains. Even if the flu strains do not change, a yearly vaccine for influenza is still recommended, as immunity from flu vaccination is not long lasting.
What are the different flu vaccine types and costs this year?
This year all SmartClinics centres will offer the Quadrivalent Vaccine. It provides the highest level of protection against the flu.
There are public and private Quadrivalent vaccines available.
The public vaccine is provided free of charge by the Government for specific groups (see below), while private vaccines will be available for purchase from most SmartClinics centres for approximately $14.95. Some Doctors may also charge a consult fee for private flu vaccination appointments. Please contact your local SmartClinics centre if you would like to know the cost for the vaccination at your local medical centre and if bulk-billing vaccination appointments are available with your preferred Doctor.
Am I eligible for the free Government flu shot?
The government funded Quadrivalent vaccine is generally free of charge for the following groups:
- People with medical conditions predisposing to severe influenza (aged 6 months and over)
- People aged 65 years and over
- All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over
- All pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from six months to less than five years of age
What’s the benefit of having a flu vaccination performed by a GP in a medical centre rather than a Chemist?
It is good medicine that you have your yearly flu shot administered by your GP as they have your medical history, can keep a record of your vaccinations and discuss any medical concerns with you in a private setting.
What are the most common symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms may occur 1 to 3 days after infection, and generally seem like the ‘common cold’. Typical flu symptoms could include:
- sneezing and runny nose;
- poor appetite; and
- muscle aches.
If you or your loved ones experience any of these symptoms this flu season, please see your doctor. Further health problems can develop in some people after flu infection including pneumonia, heart, blood system and liver complications, which can lead to death, especially in children and older people.