Flu Vaccinations – Better Protection, Better Prevention, Better Care
Your best protection against influenza is the flu vaccination. According to the Department of Health, on average, a vaccinated person is 40-60% less likely to experience influenza (based on infected people presenting to GPs or hospitals) than an unvaccinated person.
A highly contagious virus, influenza spreads when water droplets are dispersed through the air via sneezing or coughing by an infected person. The flu can survive for 24 hours when dispersed as droplets on hard surfaces or for 15 minutes on a tissue. Washing your hands for 20 seconds or using a hand sanitiser containing 60-95% ethanol or isopropanol is an essential part of flu prevention.
The flu is different to the common cold and can lead to life threatening illnesses such as pneumonia, heart and other organ damage, brain inflammation or brain damage and even death. For the elderly, people with poor immune systems and people with pre-existing respiratory, cardiac and endocrine disease—influenza can be a significant illness and may even cause death.
Since the flu virus is always changing, a yearly vaccination is recommended. Recent studies show that flu vaccines provide the best protection three to four months after vaccination. Protect yourself from the flu and arrange a vaccination this year at Ramsay Pharmacy with a quick and convenient in-store appointment. In Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales, people 10 years and older are eligible for the flu vaccination to be administered by a pharmacist. Please note that you will need to stay in the pharmacy for 15 minutes after your vaccination so we can observe and assist should you experience a reaction. Flu vaccines are available at selected pharmacies.
Avoid the flu this season and plan your flu vaccine now.Click on the links below to book your flu vaccine appointment for $14.99, with your closest Ramsay Pharmacy for Better Care.
A free vaccine is available from your GP and through pharmacists in Victoria (though a consultation fee may apply) for those at high risk of contracting or having complications from the flu including:
- People aged 65 years and over
- People aged six months and over with one or more of the following conditions:decreased immunity, organ transplant recipients, heart disease, Down syndrome, obesity, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic nervous system disease, chronic liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Pregnant women
Outside Victoria, pharmacists are unable to administer the flu vaccination under the National Immunisation Program.
Some side effects encountered after receiving the flu vaccination may include:
- Drowsiness or tiredness
- Muscle aches, localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- Injection-site lump (nodule) that may last a few weeks but needs no treatment
- Low-grade temperature (fever)
Most side effects usually pass within 24 to 48 hours.
The easy answer is no. Australian flu vaccines do not contain live virus particles.
You need a flu vaccination each year as the flu virus frequently changes. The flu vaccine is updated every year according to the most common strains likely to affect Australia during the winter season. The benefit of the flu vaccine tends to wear off after three to four months.
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy advise that the vaccine distributed in Australia and New Zealand is derived from the influenza virus and is grown in a hen’s egg. Once purified, the amount of residual egg ovalbumin present in each vaccine dose is usually less than 1 microgram. This is substantially less than the amount of egg protein that is likely to trigger reactions in people with an egg allergy - estimated at 130 micrograms if taken orally. The occurrence of a reaction is extremely rare.
Yes. The flu vaccination is a low risk procedure and our team have taken additional precautions to ensure your safety. When preparing the vaccination our team will adhere to physical distancing and then administer the vaccination from the side to further lower the risk. The short contact time is low-risk, and hygiene procedures including using hand sanitiser will be used throughout the process along with additional cleaning. Book online and complete the pre-vaccination screening questionnaire on your phone before your appointment to spend less time in the pharmacy.