Don’t spread the flu this winter

Don’t spread the flu this winter
A campaign to encourage the community to get vaccinated this winter got off to a great start this week at The Tweed Hospital.

On Monday, staff provided free flu vaccinations to around 70 members of the public, as well as providing advice on how to best prevent yourself and those you love from getting the flu.

Resident, Giuseppe D’Ambrosi, was one of those who received the free vaccination.

“I get the flu shot every year,” Mr D’Ambrosi said.

Paul Corben, Director North Coast Public Health Unit, said vaccination is the best protection against the flu, and encouraged people to get vaccinated against this deadly infection before the start of winter.

“The best time to have the flu vaccine is in April or May to ensure your protection doesn’t wane before the flu season peaks. The vaccine takes two weeks to be fully effective,” Mr Corben said.

Flu vaccines are now available at most GPs, Aboriginal Medical Services, many community pharmacies and, for children under five years of age, from community health clinics that routinely provide vaccination services.

Free flu shots are available to pregnant women, people over 65 years of age, most Aboriginal people, children aged between 6 months and up to 5 years and people with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart problems.

This year, NSW Health’s $1.75 million immunisation campaign follows one of the worst flu seasons on record last year, which caused over 650 flu-related deaths in NSW.

“The World Health Organization advises this year’s flu vaccine will be a better match to the circulating strains and offer higher protection than last year. We urge everyone to get the flu vaccination to build immunity within the community and beat the flu bug this winter –your flu shot could save your life or someone else’s,” Mr Corben said.

Vaccination is the best protection against the flu, but the following steps also help prevent the spread of influenza:

    • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
    • Clean your hands with soap or use a hand sanitiser regularly
    • Stay home when sick.

More information is available on the NSW Health website.

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