We know that over the past few years with strict isolations and lockdowns in place, there has been a decline in the number of people in our community contracting the influenza virus. With life returning to normal and the removal of restrictions, experts are calling for people to remember to get their flu shots this year as we head into the cooler months.
Yearly influenza vaccination is recommended for all Australians aged 6 months and over but several groups are particularly at risk for complications. They include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnance
- People aged 65 years and over
- People who have medical conditions that include:
chronic neurological conditions
diabetes and other metabolic disorders
children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
At the same time, ATAGI has also recommended an additional booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increae vaccine protection before winter for selected population groups who are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and who have received their primary vaccination and first booster dose.
These groups are:
Adults aged 65 years and older
Resident of aged care or disability care facilities
People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.
This additional winter booster dose can be given 4 months or longer after the person has received their first booster dose or from 4 months after a confirmed COVID-19 infection, if infection occurred since the person's first COVID-19 booster dose.
ATAGI has recommended that the rollout of the additional booster dose for these groups starts from April 2022, coinciding with thte rollout of the 2022 influenza vaccination program.
ATAGI has also advised that the flu shot and COVID-19 booster can be given at the same time so you can chat to your GP about whether that is best for you.
For more information on the winter COVID-19 booster, please visit https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-statement-on-recommendations-on-a-winter-booster-dose-of-covid-19-vaccine
For more information on the flu vaccination please visit https://www.health.gov.au/news/2022-influenza-vaccination-early-advice-for-vaccination-providers
To become a care or support worker, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/carer
To find disability support services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/disability-support-workers
To find aged care services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/aged-care-workers
To make a referral, please visit https://www.careseekers.com.au/referrals