Why seeing your GP for the flu vaccination is important
Winter is upon us again – and that means rain, wind, cold – and flu vaccinations.
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to illness and even death. The flu can be quickly spread through cities and countries, and millions of people (even healthy individuals) are infected annually.
This is why getting vaccinated against the flu is so important every year – and 2018 is no different.
Flu vaccines deliver peak antibodies about a fortnight after vaccination, which provide protection against infection of common flu strains for up to 3 months. As each flu season is different, the delivery of vaccines to the general population has to be tailored to the viruses that research suggests will be most prevalent during the upcoming season. This is why you have to get inoculated every year – there are many strains of the flu virus and one vaccine doesn’t cover them all!
These days, flu vaccines are cheap and convenient. Whilst it is possible to get vaccinated at pharmacies and chemists, Park Medical Group advocate the importance of having the flu vaccine administered at your local General Practitioner.
It is very important for your personal ongoing wellbeing and care that your personal GP has a record of any injections that you receive, especially if you are elderly, pregnant, from an indigenous background, or have underlying health issues (heart and kidney disease, chronic respiratory conditions or other chronic medical conditions, impaired immunity and chronic neurological conditions).
- Persons 65 years of age or older
- Pregnant women (any trimester)
- Aboriginal individuals 6 months and older
- Individuals aged 6 months and over with medical conditions that place them at risk for complications of influenza, namely: cardiac disease, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic neurological conditions, impaired immunity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, renal disease, haematological disorders, children aged 6 months to 10 years receiving long term aspirin therapy
- Children aged 6 months to less than 5 years.
The flu is spread rapidly via coughing, sneezing and/or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your nose or mouth. Even as a healthy adult, it’s very important to get an influenza shot, especially if you are in contact with at-risk people (including children) – and don’t forget your workmates! After all, you don’t want to be the one responsible for spreading the flu virus around your office this winter.
You can decrease your risk of passing on influenza by maintaining good hand hygiene practises, such as washing your hands before and after eating, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose or coughing, and before and after helping somebody who is already sick.
There are many methods to help you treat the symptoms of flu this season but you are doing yourself and your community a favour when you vaccinate yourself against influenza at your local General Practitioner – and you’re significantly less likely to get sick from common flu strains. This is why the flu vaccine is so important – it’s one of the most effective ways to keep you, your family, friends, workmates, and general community, flu-free this winter season.