2022 Flu vaccine now available at HHMP for all patients: Free for at risk groups

 In vaccination

Influenza / Flu vaccine is now available

With all the focus on COVID-19 vaccination recently, the Influenza/flu vaccine has generally been ignored. One of the aims of flu vaccination this year would be to avoid co-infection with both flu and COVID-a9/

 

The Influenza / Flu vaccine

The period of peak influenza circulation in Australia is typically June to September. Annual Flu vaccination should ideally occur before then.

The low levels of flu infections in recent years are attributed to a closed border which is now no longer closed and thus a resurgence of flu is expected in 2022. How bad? no one is really sure.

People who are planning international travel should ensure they have had a 2022 influenza vaccination before departure. This should be on top of the 2 doses of the COVID 19 vaccine and appropriate boosters (1 booster 3 months after the initial 2 doses; a 4th shot for those who qualify).

Patients over the age of 65 are eligible for the free flu vaccine which has a higher level of immunogenicity. This vaccine is preferable in this age group as compared to the other flu vaccines which are more suitable for those below 65 years of age.

Co-administration

The COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with an influenza vaccine. While this is seen as safe, it comes with an increased risk of side effects such as fever.

Patients who do not need to have both vaccines together (eg: if not travelling etc) are encouraged to have the influenza/flu vaccine and the COVID 19 vaccine (or booster) separated by at least 2 weeks.

By separating the vaccines by 2 weeks or more, the risk of reactions is reduced.

Influenza vaccines are free and recommended for the following groups

  • All children aged 6 months to <5 years
  • All adults aged ≥65 years.
  • People aged over 5 to under 65 years of age, may be eligible for a free vaccine if they are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions as per the table below.

Medical conditions with increased influenza disease complications and eligibility for a free vaccine.

Category Medical conditions
Cardiac disease Cyanotic congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic emphysema
Chronic neurological conditions Hereditary and degenerative CNS diseases, seizure disorders, spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular disorders
Immunocompromising conditions Immunocompromised due to disease or treatment, asplenia or splenic dysfunction, HIV infection
Diabetes and other metabolic disorders Type 1 or 2 diabetes, chronic metabolic disorders
Renal disease Chronic renal failure
Haematological disorders Haemoglobinopathies
Long-term aspirin therapy in children aged 5 to 10 years These children are at increased risk of Reye syndrome following influenza infection

Making a vaccine booking

Influenza/Flu vaccination will occur at HHMP 3 days per week, upstairs in our vaccine clinic. Other appointments may be available in the treatment room or when seeing your doctor for an unrelated matter.

Making a booking is simple and can be done by clicking the BOOK NOW button at the top of this page or by calling 02 9817 2080.

The whole family eg: grandparents, parents and children can be vaccinated concurrently as vaccines for adults and kids will be available at the same session.

Many appointments are available and there is no waiting list.

We continue to vaccinate children for their primary COVID-19 course as well as adults both for the primary course (Pfizer or Novovax) or for the booster dose.

We encourage all eligible patients to get vaccinated against both Influenza / Flu and COVID-19.

 

More Information

NSW Health Influenza and vaccination 2022

ATAGI updated Influenza information

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