North Coast residents can get the flu shot at local chemists.
North Coast residents can get the flu shot at local chemists. Kevin Farmer

Don’t get sick this winter, get a flu shot

A CHANGE to health legislation means North Coast residents can now get their annual flu shot at chemists.

Residents now have an alternative to booking doctor’s appointments to receive the injection, after state legislation changed to allow trained and accredited pharmacists to administer the influenza vaccine to patients.

Medical centres will continue to administer a Medicare-funded vaccine to eligible patients under the National Immunisation Program, while accredited pharmacies will run private clinics for the ineligible patients.

“The flu season is almost here and no one has an excuse not get their flu jab, given it is now much easier to access,” Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said.

“By improving accessibility of the vaccine we can vaccinate more patients, reducing the burden on our health care system and doctor surgeries.

“We only have to look to Queensland, where almost 2000 influenza cases have already been reported this autumn, to see how contagious this illness is.

“If a patient in a vulnerable population group gets the flu there’s up to a 12% chance they can end up in ICU and possibly even die from complications such as pneumonia.”

Health professionals recommend vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory illness or immune disorders get their flu shot. Healthy people should also access a flu jab to ensure vulnerable patients have less chance of incidental exposure.

Deliveries of the super flu vaccination Quadrivalent, which protects against four strains of flu, has also now arrived at some North Coast pharmacies, despite shortages being reported in some parts of the country.



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