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Flu vaccinations and the coronavirus

The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness affecting the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs caused by influenza viruses. Typically, the flu is most prevalent between April and October, but people can catch the flu at any time during the year.

Annual flu vaccination and good hygiene are the best ways to avoid getting the flu. If you do catch the flu, these measures will also help to reduce the severity of the illness.

What are the symptoms?

If you have the flu, you’re likely to experience some or all of the below symptoms:

  • Body aches and pains (often severe)
  • Chest discomfort/cough (can become severe)
  • Extreme exhaustion (usually at the beginning of the illness)
  • Fatigue/weakness (up to 2 to 3 weeks)
  • Fever (up to 3 to 4 days)
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

If I feel unwell, how can I be sure it might be the flu and not coronavirus?

Although Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the flu are two very different viruses, the symptoms can be very similar.

If you have recently travelled overseas or have been in contact with someone who has, and you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, please DO NOT visit your GP without calling first. Our reception staff will speak with you and help determine the best course of action for your individual situation. This might mean contacting your public health authority for further advice or attending a designated facility equipped for testing coronavirus.

How can I protect myself and my family?

You can prevent the spread of flu by following these simple steps:

  • Get a flu vaccination – the vaccine usually takes two weeks to provide full protection
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an antibacterial gel
  • Cover coughs and sneezes – using your elbow or tissue is a good option
  • Bin your tissues
  • Avoid sharing
  • Keep surfaces clean
  • Self-care at home

Do I have to pay for the flu vaccine?

The Australian Government funds the cost of flu vaccines for some people, including:

  • Anyone aged 65 years and over
  • Pregnant women in any trimester
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons aged six months and over
  • All children from 6 months to less than five years of age
  • People aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

For all other patients, there is a charge for the Private vaccination. The consultation fee for all flu vaccinations is bulk-billed.

Is the flu vaccine safe?

Yes, all vaccines in Australia must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA evaluates all vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective.

Are there any side effects?

The most common side effects of the flu vaccination are soreness at the injection site, headache, muscle aches, and occasionally fever. Most side effects are minor and last for 1 to 2 days.

If I catch the flu, will antibiotics help?

No, antibiotics do not reduce symptoms of flu as a virus causes the illness. Antibiotics only work for bacterial infections.

To make a flu vaccination appointment, please book online or call our clinic.