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Flu Vaccine 2021 | M3 Health Melbourne


Flu Vaccine 2021 Updates


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Flu is caused by influenza viruses and affects the respiratory system, i.e. nose, throat and lungs. It is very contagious and can vary from mild to severe, and on occasion can even cause death. Complications such as bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as Asthma, Heart Failure etc can occur from the Flu virus. The Flu, during the winter season, is one of the major reasons for hospitalizations in Australia. The Flu is a very common virus, although sometimes it could cause very severe respiratory problems, and is usually prevalent during the colder months from April to October.

The Flu virus spreads when a person with the flu sneezes, coughs or talks and tiny droplets of saliva or mucus spread through the air onto other people nearby. It can also spread by touching surfaces that have the Flu virus on them and then touching your face, especially the eyes, nose and mouth.

Symptoms of the Flu include some or all of the following:

  • Fever / chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting/diarrhoea

If you have the Flu, drinking plenty of water is highly recommended in order to keep the body from getting dehydrated. The Flu usually lasts for about one week, and antibiotics are ineffective against the flu virus.

Who is most at risk from the Flu?

  • Children below 5 years 
  • Adults above 65 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Those suffering from chronic medical conditions such as HIV, Asthma, Diabetes etc
  • Those with greater exposure to the virus, such as healthcare workers

How to avoid the spread of the flu virus:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Cover your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing
  • Stay away from people who are sick as much as possible
  • Dispose of used tissues in a hygienic way
  • Do not share cups, plates, cutlery etc
  • Keep surfaces clean, such as phones, keyboards etc
  • Get the Flu vaccine

The Flu is an ever-evolving type of virus, and the best way to protect yourself against it is to get the annual flu vaccine, especially if you belong to one of the high-risk groups. The vaccine has proven to be very successful in reducing flu-like illnesses and the risk of complications from this virus, and even death. The vaccine causes your body to develop antibodies against several different strains of the flu virus, which help protect you from Influenza.

Side effects of the flu vaccine:

Side effects of the flu vaccine are very mild in nature and temporary, and may include:

  • Swelling or redness around the point of injection
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Mild fever (especially in children)
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

On very rare occasions, the Flu vaccine has caused severe side effects, such as allergic reactions. The mild and common side effects are temporary as compared to the risk and severe health effects of the Flu virus, hence the Flu vaccine is a highly recommended preventive method for contracting the Flu.

Studies have found that if you do get a different variant of the Flu even after the Flu vaccine has been taken, the vaccine has been found to reduce the severity of the virus and symptoms.

The 2021 Flu Vaccine is available at the following M3 clinics:

If you are looking for the Flu vaccine in Ascot Vale:

63-65 Union Road, Ascot Vale, VIC 3032 | Phone 03 9326 2098 | Fax 03 9375 7912

If you are looking for the Flu vaccine in Bayswater:

Shop 27-29, Mountain High Shopping Centre, 7-13 High Street, Bayswater, VIC 3153 | Phone 03 8820 0300 | Fax 03 9738 2200

If you are looking for the Flu vaccine in Hobsons Bay (Spotswood):

Level 1, 196-200 Hall Street, Spotswood, VIC 3015 | Phone 03 9391 2855 | Fax 03 9399 2755

Book an online appointment to get your flu shot before the Flu season comes around. Keep yourself and your family safe from the flu virus.

Flu shots, called influenza vaccines, are recommended for babies and children every year from the time they are six months old to protect them from influenza. Influenza vaccines are free for all children aged six months to under five years.

Influenza (also called ‘the flu’) can be much worse than a bad cold. Some children who have influenza get so sick they can’t go to childcare or preschool for two weeks or more. Every year in Australia, hundreds of children get so unwell from influenza they need to be treated in hospital. Most of them are babies and children under five years.

An influenza vaccine is the best way to protect your child from serious influenza. Influenza vaccines give better protection in some years than others. This is because the types of influenza viruses making people sick from year to year can change, and the vaccines may have to be updated. Before the influenza season, experts gather information from around the world to work out which influenza viruses are most likely to circulate. They often get it right, but sometimes it can be hard to predict. Influenza vaccines give your child good protection, even if they aren’t always perfect.

Your child can’t get influenza from an influenza vaccine. Influenza vaccines contain pieces of influenza viruses, but these can’t make your child sick like the whole virus. Some vaccines in other countries have whole, weakened influenza viruses in them, but these vaccines are not used in Australia.

It’s normal for babies and children to be a bit unsettled or even feverish for a day or two after influenza vaccination. These side-effects are a sign that your child’s immune system is responding to the vaccine. Also, the vaccine starts to protect your child after about two weeks, so if your child caught the virus before they were vaccinated (but wasn’t feeling sick yet), or in the two weeks after they were vaccinated, it might seem like the vaccine made them sick.

Serious side effects are very rare. Less than two in every 100,000 children under two years have febrile convulsions (fever fits or seizures) in the days after vaccination.1 Febrile convulsions are caused by a sudden increase in body temperature. They can

be frightening, but are usually harmless. Children are much more likely to have febrile convulsions if they get sick from influenza. In one study, about four in 100 children who were treated in hospital for influenza had a febrile convulsion.2

About one child out of every million who get an influenza vaccine has a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to one of the ingredients. Any reactions usually occur before you leave the clinic, and the medical staff are trained to help children who have this reaction recover quickly. Anaphylaxis is frightening but extremely rare.

It’s safe for children with egg allergies to get influenza vaccines.3 This is because the amount of egg in influenza vaccines is tiny (usually less than one microgram of egg protein per dose, which is too small to trigger an allergic reaction). Many years ago, influenza vaccines used to contain more egg protein, but the way the vaccines are manufactured is much better now.

Children six months or older need to get an influenza vaccine every year. This is because the types of influenza viruses circulating often change from year to year. Also, protection from an influenza vaccine generally lasts less than a year. The best time to get an influenza vaccine is in April or May, before the influenza season, which is usually June to September. Your child can get an influenza vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.

Influenza vaccines must be assessed for safety by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) before they can be used in Australia. Although the types of influenza virus particles in vaccines may change each year, the way the vaccines are manufactured stays much the same, so they don’t need to be tested again each year. There are systems in place to detect any unexpected side-effects while a vaccine is being used. The TGA, along with other health authorities and experts, investigate any potential issues. In very rare circumstances, they may suspend use of a vaccine.

This is what happened in 2010, when one brand of influenza vaccine (Seqirus/ bioCSL Fluvax and Fluvax Junior) was found to have caused febrile convulsions in children under five years. We don’t give this specific vaccine to babies or children in Australia anymore.

 Ref : www.health.gov.au


Level 1, 196-200 Hall Street, Spotswood, VIC 3015 | Phone 03 9391 2855 | Fax 03 9399 2755

Book an online appointment to get your flu shot before the Flu season comes around. Keep yourself and your family safe from the flu virus.