Lots of us had to stay home During the 2020 - 2021 COVID-19 lockdowns, We had to wear a face mask, If we wanted to leave. While the lockdowns were delicate, the number of laboratory- verified cases of influenza( ‘ the flu ’) in Australia was, thankfully, low.
Fast forward to 2022 and flu cases in Australia are spiking earlier than former times. So far this time, there have been 87989 cases of the flu, with 47860 people diagnosed in the last reported fortnight.
Flu cases mainly increase in the colder months, as people get together inside more and have near contact with one another. But this dramatic increase in flu cases is also because traveling between countries is back and restrictions have relaxed. We’re meeting up with mates again and taking our masks off.
So, if flu case counter are rising, How to protect yourself against the flu?
Having a flu every year is one the most important way to avoid the flu and possible complications. This is because the types of influenza that go around frequently change. Plus, protection from a flu vaccine generally lasts lower than a year.
The physical distancing, good hand hygiene, wearing the mask and staying home when sick(which reduced the spread of COVID-19) can also help to stop the spread of influenza.
Why is it necessary to get an influenza vaccine?
Flu seasons are changeable, and the consequences can be ruinous. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 650000 people die from influenza over the world every year.
It’s important to get vaccinated if you’re suitable to. Flu vaccination prevents illness in over to 6 out of 10 people who are youngish than 65. This figure varies time by time.
Getting vaccinated helps cover people who can’t have the vaccine for health reasons. It also protects certain groups of people more at threat of severe illness or complications if infected with the flu.
Among high-risk individuals, the flu can trigger complications such as pneumonia. This life-threatening illness can send people to hospital with serious health outcomes. Vaccination saves lives.
Who can take the flu shot for free?
- children from 6 months up to 5 years
- people over 65 years
- pregnant people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people from 6 months or over who have a long- term medical condition
- people who haven’t had the flu vaccine
- people who have heart disease
- people who have renal failure
- people who have blood disorders
- children on long-term aspirin therapy
These groups are eligible for a free flu vaccination under the National Immunization Program (NIP) schedule.