Pharmacy manager Michael Marceau is just one of the thousands of pharmacists around Australia who are now able to administer the flu vaccine.
Pharmacy manager Michael Marceau is just one of the thousands of pharmacists around Australia who are now able to administer the flu vaccine. Trevor Veale

Pivotal time to get your flu shot

WITH reports stating that almost 7,000 cases of influenza have been diagnosed this year, local pharmacists are stressing that now is the pivotal time for residents to get their flu shots.

This year is the first that all pharmacies around Australia are able to administer flu shots, meaning they're much more easier to access.

The cost of the 2017 Quadrivalent vaccination is $15 but is free from a GP to those aged 65 and above; pregnant women; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 0-5 and 10 and above; and those above six months who suffer from medical conditions such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes.

Michael Marceau, pharmacist manager of Palms Pharmacy, said they are expecting to vaccinate up to 1000 people this year, compared to 600 last year.

"The more people protected by the influenza virus, the less risk of the community being affected,” Mr Marceau said.

"We're just offering a convenient service for people who want to get it done quickly or for those who aren't eligible for the free vaccine.”

The Government recommends flu vaccinations to be given at the end of March and beginning of April, as the flu season typically begins anywhere after April and lasts throughout winter.

Mr Marceau added certain myths about flu vaccinations should not prevent members of the community from receiving them.

"Some people think that the vaccine is not the same as the doctor's one or that it's inferior, but the vaccine we have is the same and protects against four different strains of influenza.

"Also, it's an inactivated virus, so when you give the vaccine it's impossible to get the flu afterwards.”

Vaccinations given at pharmacies are conducted by specially trained pharmacists.



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