Free flu jab available for vulnerable

Northern Health nurse Jasmin administered the influenza vaccine to Aman at a session on Tuesday, May 17. (Supplied)

Northern Health staff members are calling on individuals aged six months and over to roll up their sleeves and boost their immunity with the influenza vaccine.

Northern Health infection prevention director Madelaine Flynn said the flu vaccine is provided free to people at risk from influenza and its complications.

She said anyone can be impacted by influenza and with international borders reopening following the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely that there will be more cases of influenza in 2022.

“With international travel returning this year, the circulation of other viruses will be more noticeable than 2020 and 2021, inclusive of influenza,” Ms Flynn said.

“Therefore, it is important to have the flu vaccine to prevent influenza and its complications.”

The following people eligible to receive a free seasonal influenza vaccine include:

* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older;

* Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy;

* People aged 65 years and older; and

* People aged six months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications, including cardiac disease, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic neurological conditions and immunocompromising conditions.

Children under nine years receiving their influenza vaccination for the first time require two doses of vaccine with a waiting period of a minimum of one month between doses.

Northern Health is encouraging community members to speak to their local GP, pharmacy or other immunisation provider about receiving an influenza vaccine.

The Health Department is recommending individuals receive their influenza vaccine between June and September to ensure optimal protection during the flu season.

The influenza vaccine and all Covid-19 vaccines can also be safely administered on the same day.