There have been close to 3,000 notifications of influenza to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) in Australia so far this year, with many states case numbers doubling over the past couple of weeks.
The flu vaccine is recommended for all Australians over 6 months to protect the community. Patients aged 6 months and over may receive a free flu vaccine at all Our Medical locations.
Flu cases surge across Australia
Influenza cases have began to surge across the country over the past couple of weeks.
With international travel on the rise and restrictions continuing to ease, Our Medical Dee Why General Practitioner Dr Philip Norrie shared his concerns,
“2019 saw influenza cases surpass 90,000 across NSW alone, whilst the past couple of years we have experienced all-time lows. Last year we encountered mask mandates, travel restrictions, density limits and border closures, so the low case numbers were to be expected. It is sensible for us to plan for a steep increase in cases as we welcome more visitors to the local area and return to pre-pandemic activities.”
Young children may be especially at risk,
“The local community has had much less exposure to influenza viruses, and last year the vaccine uptake was considerably lower for children, so I am certainly concerned about the level of protection that’s out there for the community.”
The National Immunisation Program offers a free annual flu vaccine for those most at risk including 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 pregnancy and those aged 65 years or over. People aged 6 months or over who have medical conditions and are at risk of serious disease are also eligible.
Those outside of these groups usually expect to pay for their influenza vaccine, however at Our Medical, all patients aged 6 months and over can receive the flu vaccine for free.
No appointment necessary. Simply come in 7am to 10pm weekdays and 8am to 10pm on weekends.