Doctors urge flu vaccination as season hits
DOCTORS are worried that too many people who are eligible for free flu vaccinations are not taking up the offer.
Dr Ralph Peters, who practises in the Derwent Valley area, said it was important for people to get vaccinations as they are the best defence to ward off illness.
“The earlier people get the vaccination the better off they are in not being affected by the flu,” he said.
Dr Peters encouraged those who had not already been vaccinated to geta flu shot.
“The elderly and those with chest and breathing problems, such as smokers, are most at risk and should get a vaccination,” he said.
As Australia suffers its worst flu season in 15 years, fewer than 30 per cent of pregnant women and only one in 10 children have been immunised, it has been claimed.
Pregnant women and children aged over six months with medical conditions that can lead to complications from the flu — such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, chronic neurological disease, renal and metabolic disease, and impaired immunity — are eligible for a free flu shot.
People aged 65 years and over are also eligible for the free jab shot, as are most indigenous Australians and those who suffer from chronic conditions.
“With flu vaccinations available for as low as $11, I encourage all Australians to talk to their doctor about getting a shot each year,” said Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
“The Government provides free vaccines to children against a range of vaccine-preventable diseases such as against pertussis, rotavirus and measles, mumps and rubella.”