Help protect yourself and those around you from the flu with a flu vaccination in 2017. All flu vaccinations are delivered in a professional setting with our friendly doctors and nursing teams.
What is the flu?
Influenza (often called the flu) is a common, highly contagious virus that affects your respiratory system. It is not the same as the common cold. Symptoms include fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, runny nose and watery eyes.
The flu is a serious disease which can lead to complications and sometimes hospitalisation.
How do you get the flu?
The flu is spread through the air when someone coughs, sneezes or talks. You can also catch the flu from touching a contaminated surface with the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
What are the benefits of a flu vaccination?
Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing and stopping the spread of flu. It will protect you and those around you who may be at increased risk of flu related complications, including older people, pregnant women and those with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity. Vaccination against the flu reduces the more serious outcomes, like hospitalisations.
2017 Flu Vaccine
Based on recommendations from the World Health Organisation, the 2017 quadrivalent influenza vaccine will offer protection against the following four virus strains:
- A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (A/Michigan/45/2015 X-275)
- A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus (A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 X-263B)
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Phuket/3073/2013; Yamagata lineage)
- B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008; Victoria lineage)
How much does a flu vaccination cost?
A flu vaccination costs $10.
Before receiving the vaccine, make sure that you tell your doctor or nurse if you (or your child):
- are unwell (have a temperature over 38.5˚C)
- have allergies to any other medications or substances
- have had a serious reaction to any vaccine
- have had a serious reaction to any component of the vaccine
- have had a severe allergy to anything
- have had a severe allergy reaction to eggs – the virus used in the vaccine is grown in eggs
- are under six months of age
- have had Guillain-Barre syndrome
Side Effects of The Flu Vaccine
The influenza vaccine can cause a range of side effects.
In children under five years of age, these reactions may be more obvious. Common side effects of flu vaccine include:
- drowsiness or tiredness
- muscle aches
- localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- occasionally, an injection-site lump (nodule) that may last many weeks but needs no treatment
- low-grade temperature (fever)
Managing Fever After Immunisation
Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary (occurring in the first few days after vaccination). Specific treatment is not usually required. There are a number of treatment options that can reduce the side effects of the vaccine including:
- drinking extra fluids and not overdressing if there is a fever
- although routine use of paracetamol after vaccination is not recommended, if fever is present, paracetamol can be given – check the label for the correct dose or speak with your pharmacist (especially when giving paracetamol to children).
Concerns About Side Effects
If the side effect following immunisation is unexpected, persistent or severe, or if you are worried about yourself or your child’s condition after a vaccination, see your doctor or immunisation nurse as soon as possible.
There is a very small risk of a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any vaccine. This is why you are advised to stay at the clinic or medical surgery for at least 15 minutes following vaccination in case further treatment is required. Apart from anaphylaxis, other extremely rare side effects include febrile convulsions in children.
If any other reactions are severe and persistent, or if you are worried, contact the clinic for further information.