A warning has been issued by health authorities in Australia urging residents to check their vaccinations or to consider getting vaccinated due to an early spike in measles and flu cases.
While peak flu season in Australia is normally August to September, new strains of influenza are brought into the country every year and there has been a doubling of confirmed cases compared to this time last year.
The eastern states have been the hardest hit by this flu outbreak with 6128 confirmed cases in NSW and 5665 in Queensland followed by 2636 in South Australia.
While doctors including Dr Harry Nespolon from the Australian college of General Practitioners advise that the best time to get a flu shot is three months prior to flu season, you may wish to consider a visit to your doctor for an early flu shot.
Under the Federal Government’s National Immunisation Program, those at most risk of poor outcomes are eligible for a free flu vaccine. This includes:
- People aged 65 and older
- Pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
- People aged six months and over with medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of getting a serious disease
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months to five years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and older
Will you be getting an early flu shot this year?