Five places you can get a flu shot on the Northern Rivers

AS THE weather finally gets cooler and flu season approaches, Northern Rivers residents are being advised to get vaccinated against the latest strains of influenza.

North Coast Assistant Public Health Director, Greg Bell, said the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee studied the strains of influenza circulating in the northern hemisphere each year to develop vaccines for Australia.

Mr Bell said this year there were trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines which protect against three and four strains of the virus - H1N1 (swine flu), H3N2 (Hong Kong flu), B (Brisbane flu) and BPhuket (Phuket flu).

"For the group of people identified as being at risk the vaccine is free from your GP," he said.

The NSW government amended the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods laws in March 2015 to allow trained pharmacists to administer the flu jab to people over 18, with the immunisation records to be sent back to their local GP.

"Some GPs can charge people who aren't identified as being at risk, so we advise people to go to GPs that are bulk billers and some pharmacists are offering the vaccine as well," Mr Bell said.

"All pharmacies involved in administering the vaccine have to be authorised and have accredited staff who give the vaccine."

"From the end of March to late June is our peak flu season so we are advising people to get vaccinated now because a lot of people succumb to the flu.

"The flu is different to common cold; when you do get a proper flu it puts you out of action and people who get the flu should stay away from work or school."

Who is at risk?

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged six months to less than five years
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are aged 15 years and over
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes that can lead to complications from influenza.

Where to get a flu shot

1. Your local GP - free if they bulk bill

2. Southside Health and Hire Centre, South Lismore: $16.95 tri, $24.95 quad

3. Priceline Pharmacy Lismore Shopping Square: $9.95 tri, $19.95 quad

4. Ballina Chemmart: $20 tri, $25 quad

5. Wollongbar Pharmacy (Wednesday only): $25 quad

6. Terry White Chemist Alstonville: $25 quad

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