2018 Seasonal Flu Vaccine – Your Best Shot at Stopping the Flu
Your Best Shot at Stopping the Flu
Vaccination against flu is the best way to protect you and your children from flu and any associated illness.
To protect yourself from the flu, you should get vaccinated every year. The flu virus is always changing so the flu vaccine changes too.
Immunisation is recommended in early autumn to allow time for immunity to be strengthened before the flu season starts.
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that is responsible for major outbreaks of respiratory illness around the world, usually in the winter months. Unlike the common cold, influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, which often require hospitalisation.
Influenza spreads from person to person through the air by coughing or sneezing, or by direct contact with the virus on hard surfaces or people’s hands. The flu usually differs from a cold as symptoms develop suddenly, and can lead to complications such as chest infections and pneumonia – particularly among the elderly and young children.
The influenza virus changes with time and so each year the influenza vaccine is tailored to target the main influenza strains causing illness.
- Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing the spread of influenza (commonly known as ‘flu’) in the community.
- To protect yourself from the flu, you should get vaccinated every year. The flu virus is always changing so the flu vaccine changes too
- Flu vaccines are available for eligible people for free under the National Immunisation Program from April 2018.
- Getting the vaccine from April will protect you before the peak flu period, from around June to September.
Flu Vaccination for Children
- Children can receive the flu vaccine from six months of age.
- Let your doctor know your age or the age of your child before getting the flu shot. The brand of flu vaccine you should get depends on your age.
Parents should make sure vaccination providers know how old their children are so they can receive the correct vaccine.
At the Melbourne Children’s Travel Clinic in addition to our specialised travel vaccine service, we can provide advice on all immunisations including influenza vaccine and other routine childhood vaccinations. The flu vaccine can be provided to parents during your travel clinic appointment.