2019 Flu Season | When to Vaccinate
28 Mar 2019
The on-set of cooler weather in Tasmania prompts discussion of cold and flu, and of course, when to get your flu shot.
A record 11 million Australians got a flu shot last year – nearly a third more than the previous year. In 2018, 58,824 cases of influenza were reported, compared to nearly 250,000 cases in 2017. It is not possible to predict what this season’s influenza season will be like with each year being different Indeed, the 2018 season has been unusually long.
The protection from the annual flu jab starts to wear off after four months and this year’s flu jab won’t be distributed until the beginning of April.
Head of Infectious Diseases at the Launceston General Hospital, Professor Katie Flanagan recommends people get the influenza vaccine once it becomes available and certainly by mid-May.
“We recommend that everyone (children over 6 months of age and adults) receive the vaccine, but this is even more important for those suffering from chronic diseases. The flu vaccine recommended for people >65 years of age is different to that recommended for younger people and is freely available from your GP”, she said.
Another option is to participate in Professor Flanagan’s influenza vaccine trial in which case the vaccine will be provided for free at the Vaccine Trial Centre at the LGH. Please call a Clifford Craig research nurse on 0474 516 022 or 6777 6001 for more information.