It is not too late to get your flu shot

Vaccination is your best protection against the bug and it's still not too late to get the jab. Photo: Shutterstock
Vaccination is your best protection against the bug and it's still not too late to get the jab. Photo: Shutterstock

NSW Health is urging those yet to have their flu shot this year to do so now, as influenza is still spreading around NSW.

Director of communicable disease Dr Vicky Sheppeard said even though we are nearing the end of winter when the risk is greatest, people can still be struck down with the flu all year round.

"The flu can affect people of all age groups, even those who are fit and healthy," Dr Sheppeard said.

"Vaccination is your best protection against the bug and it's still not too late to get the jab.

"There are plentiful supplies of influenza vaccine and we urge parents of children under 5 years of age, those over 65 years and others vulnerable to the flu to visit their GP as soon as possible."

The latest weekly Influenza Surveillance Report shows 4424 flu cases for the week ending August 4, down from 6126 notifications the previous week, taking the yearly total to 69,055.

There have been 21 additional deaths of people aged over 25 years reported, bringing the annual total to 127 confirmed influenza deaths.

"Just like the common cold the best precautions people can take against the flu are to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly, cover their coughs and sneezes and stay home if they are unwell," Dr Sheppeard said.

"We are encouraging people who are sick to stay away from elderly relatives or friends until they have recovered, as they often have chronic or complex conditions that are aggravated by influenza."

A Western NSW Local Health District spokesperson said it was not too late to get a flu vaccination.

"There are a number of people who can receive the influenza vaccination free of charge," the spokesperson said.

"These groups of people are generally those who have poorer outcomes if they acquire the flu.

"If you have symptoms of flu it's important to prevent the spread by coughing and sneezing into your elbow, washing your hands regularly, and staying home if you're unwell."

People eligible for free influenza vaccine include:

  • Children from six months up to five years of age
  • Aboriginal people six months and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with serious underlying health conditions
  • People aged 65 years and older
This story It is not too late to get your flu shot first appeared on Daily Liberal.