25 September 2023

Doctors order flu shots in May

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NSW Health has suggested that parents of small children and people in high-risk health groups should set 1 May as the day to book their influenza vaccinations for the winter.

Communicable Diseases Director of NSW Health, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, (pictured) said most GP clinics should receive their Commonwealth flu vaccines by next month.

“Now is a great time to set a reminder in your phone or circle the date in your calendar, particularly if you or your family are in a high-risk group, to ensure you get your flu jab,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“There have already been 7,584 recorded flu cases in NSW during the warmer months so the best protection ahead of winter is to be vaccinated to build up resistance,” she said.

More than 250,000 flu vaccines have been delivered so far, including over 42,000 to aged care facilities across the state.

“Flu vaccines have already been distributed to aged care facilities but for the wider population, supplies should be with their GP by 1 May,” Dr Sheppeard said.

So far this year, two strains of influenza A virus are causing most of the infections in NSW, similar to the strains that circulated in 2018.

Dr Sheppeard said free vaccines will again be available through GPs for all children aged from six months to under five years of age.

“Free flu vaccines are also available for pregnant women, Aboriginal people, those aged over 65, and anyone with conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease,” Dr Sheppeard said.

People who are not eligible for free vaccines can get their shot from their GP or an eligible pharmacist.

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