Private flu vaccines are now available from South Melbourne Family Practice.
Patients are offered two options:
Book into our Nurse Immuniser Vaccination program for a quick and efficient vaccination. A consultation with one of our doctors is not required. A fee of $25 for private vaccinations covers the cost of the vaccination and the nurse consultation. A fee of $10 applies to Government Funded vaccinations.
Book in with one of the doctors. The consultation with one of our doctors is bulk billed for all patients, and the vaccine is offered at a cost of $20. Please note that the consult will only be bulk billed if it is ONLY for the vaccine
Our vaccine contains 4 strains of common influenza and is approved by the World Health Organisation and the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee.
Influenza is highly contagious and receiving the flu vaccine is your best chance of preventing infection.
What is influenza and how is it caused?
Influenza is a disease that is highly contagious. It is caused by a virus that affects the respiratory tract, and is spread by inhaling the virus when it is expelled into the air when someone coughs, sneezes or even talks.
Symptoms of influenza
The symptoms of flu include fever, fatigue, runny noses, sore throat, cough, headaches, body/muscle aches, and watery eyes. Vomiting and diarrhoea can also occur in children. Most symptoms usually last 3-5 days, although a cough and fatigue may persist for 2 weeks.
Strains included in Australia’s vaccine (2021)
- The Australian vaccine for the year 2021 contains
- A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)–like virus
- B/Washington/02/2019 – Like (B/Victorian lineage) virus; and
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus
As approved by the WHO and the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee
A common myth: contracting influenza from the vaccine
You cannot contract the flu from the vaccine. The viruses in the vaccine are inactivated and incapable of causing influenza, and protection against the virus is due to the antibodies that are formed by the immune system’s response to the vaccine. The antibodies in the body peak at 1-2 months after the vaccination is administered and then gradually declines, thus individuals should be vaccinated between the months of March and May each year.
Who gets influenza?
Anyone can get influenza. People who already suffer from ill health are more susceptible to the complications. For those in a high-risk category, the flu is very serious and can potentially be fatal. The National Immunisation Program provides government funded vaccinations for those at risk. The categories they have identified as high-risk include:
- All people aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
- All people aged 65 years and over
People aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.
If you suffer from respiratory symptoms including severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic conditions affecting the respiratory systems, metabolic disorders, diabetes mellitus, renal conditions, you are at a higher risk of complications.
Side effects of the influenza vaccine
Most people report no reaction to the vaccine, while some report mild side effects such as tenderness and redness at the injection site. This usually improves within a day or two. A cold compress applied to the vaccination site site should offer some relief. 1-10% of people may get mild fever, malaise or myalgia for 1-2 days.
How effective is the influenza vaccine?
The flu vaccine is generally considered to be 80-90% effective in preventing influenza illnesses in healthy adults. Please remember that it takes about 2 weeks for a person to develop antibodies and this protection against influenza infection.
This information was verified by
Dr Katie Mellor