Roll up! Roll up! It’s flu season…

Annual flu vaccinations protect families and communities from virus transmission and serious illness. Here are your key questions answered:

Should my family and I get vaccinated against the flu?

Yes, we recommend the flu vaccination as safe and effective in providing protection against serious illness. Flu shots can (and should) be given to everybody over the age of six months.

What are the benefits of getting my flu shot at my doctor’s practice rather than elsewhere?

Getting your flu shot at your doctor’s practice has two main benefits – your doctor knows your medical history and the practice is equipped to provide you with rapid medical care should you suffer any immediate adverse effects from your vaccination.

How do I book an appointment for a flu shot?

The easiest way to book a flu shot is online – by clicking on the booking button above or by downloading the Ochre app. In addition to online bookings, the Ochre app has a range of other useful functionality like adding appointments to your calendar, getting reminders, checking-in, seeing your place in the queue and receiving important health updates. You are also welcome to call us and make a booking over the phone.

Do I need to stay in the practice or clinic for observation after my vaccination?

Yes, you will need to stay in the practice or clinic for a minimum of 15 minutes after your vaccination/s to ensure that you do not experience any immediate adverse effects and for us to give you rapid medical care if they do.

What does a flu vaccination cost?

Queensland is the only state providing free flu vaccinations for everybody aged 6 months and older until 30 September 2024. In other all other states, the following people are eligible for a free annual flu shot under the National Immunisation Program as they are more at risk of complications if they contract the flu:

  • 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
  • People aged 65 years or over
  • People aged 6 months or over who have the following medical conditions
    • cardiac disease
    • chronic respiratory conditions
    • chronic neurological conditions
    • immunocompromising conditions
    • diabetes and other metabolic disorders
    • renal disease
    • haematological disorders
    • children aged 5 to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy

Everybody else (not in Queensland and not in the above groups) will be charged a fee for their flu vaccination that is comparable with other providers, noting the benefits of getting your flu shot at your doctor’s practice outlined above.

Does everybody receive the same flu vaccine?

No, people aged over 65 receive a vaccine designed to stimulate a stronger immune response compared with the vaccine given to younger people. There is also a cell-based vaccine option that is preferred to the standard (egg-based) vaccine for some groups. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information on how the vaccines work and, if relevant, advise on the vaccine that is right for your individual circumstances.

Can I catch the flu from the vaccination?

The flu vaccine is not live version of the virus and therefore you cannot contract flu from it. However, a small percentage of people may experience low-grade fevers and muscle aches after their shots. These are simply their immune systems responding to the vaccine and the symptoms should clear up within a few days. If you have any concerns about symptoms after you leave the practice, please call triple zero (000) immediately for anything serious, otherwise call your doctor or visit for side-effect and symptom checkers.

Is the flu vaccine safe for me and my family?

Yes, all types of the vaccine have gone through comprehensive testing and approval processes and they are recommended as safe and effective.

Is the flu vaccine safe if I am pregnant?

The flu vaccine is safe at any stage of pregnancy, for both you and your unborn baby. If you are visiting your doctor for your whooping cough immunisation between 20 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, don’t forget to ask for your flu vaccine as well. If you had a flu shot while pregnant last year and you are still pregnant, it is safe to have a second flu shot this year.

Does a chronic disease increase my risk of severe flu?

Yes, it does. For this reason, the government has made a free vaccination available for you. This includes people with chronic illnesses such as cardiac disease, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic neurological conditions, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, renal disease, haematological disorders and other forms of impaired immunity. Ask your doctor if you are unsure whether your condition qualifies you for a free flu shot.

Why is the flu vaccine free for young children?

All state and territory governments are providing free flu vaccinations for young children between six months and five years of age as they are more likely than adults to be hospitalised with a severe flu infection. The vaccines are both safe and effective for them. Protecting this age group of young children with vaccinations also helps to stop the spread of infection to newborn babies who are even more vulnerable and too young to receive a vaccination.

Can I have my flu shot at the same time as a COVID shot?

Yes, flu and COVID-19 vaccinations can be administered at the same time (in the same visit – and into different arms) as long as the practice is geared up to do so. Please call us to make the necessary bookings and arrangements.

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