Vaccines from pharmacies
People can now get protection against the latest strain of influenza virus from qualified Wimmera pharmacists.
New regulations mean pharmacists who have passed a vaccination-training program can now administer flu shots any day of the week.
The Department of Health has released a 2017 vaccine to fight the latest strains of influenza.
Horsham Chemmart Pharmacy owner Jossy Dan said the new regulations would be a great convenience for many people.
“In the past, people wanting flu vaccinations had to either visit their doctor or arrange for a registered nurse with the right qualifications,” he said.
“Pharmacies would arrange an occasional day to have a nurse on site for vaccinations but people had to make themselves available on that specific day.
“But now people can arrange with their pharmacist to get the vaccination on the most suitable day for them.
“It’s a far better system and hopefully more people will take advantage of it and we will have a healthier community.”
Mr Dan said the 2017 vaccine was designed to resist the four main strains of influenza.
“The vaccine is protection against two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains and one of the strains is a new one,” he said.
“We occasionally get people saying they caught the flu after having the vaccination but they have only caught one of the lesser strains.
“You can’t make a vaccine for all strains but the shots do protect you from the most severe strains of flu.”
Mr Dan said everyone should safeguard against the flu by getting vaccinated, but certain groups were more vulnerable.
“Most people recover reasonably well but many people can be seriously affected by the flu and more serious cases can sometimes result in death,” he said.
“Those at the higher risk level include pregnant women, older people and people with particular health conditions.”
Mr Dan said he expected most Wimmera pharmacists would have completed the vaccination-training program and be qualified to administer the flu shot.
Influenza is a common, highly conta- gious virus that affects the respiratory system. It differs from the common cold.
Influenza spreads through the air when someone coughs, sneezes or talks.
You can also catch the flu from touching a contaminated surface, and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
Symptoms include fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, runny nose and watery eyes.
Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing and stopping the spread of influenza.
PROTECTION: Horsham Chemmart pharmacist Jossy Dan with the 2017 influenza vaccine.