Influenza in 2020

February 21st 2020

2019 was one of the worst influenza seasons on record.

There were over 308 000 confirmed cases of ‘flu in Australia. And NSW recorded the highest number of cases (115 000+)

Last year was not a typical flu season. The virus hit early and the season persisted through the warmer months.

Despite ever-improving access to immunisation, and growing immunisation rates, flu remains a common cause of hospitalisation and death in Australia. Sadly over 800 Australians died in 2019 as a result of influenza.

When is the best time for my Vaccination?

  • Your annual vaccination should be BEFORE the start of the flu season
  • Optimal protection against influenza occurs after TWO weeks and continues for the first three to four months following vaccination
  • Protection is generally expected to last for the whole season
  • Across most of Australia, the influenza virus circulates at its highest volume from June to September.
  • APRIL is an opportune time to vaccinate against influenza.
  • In saying that, it’s never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate all year round.

Is it safe for everyone?

THE ONLY GROUP OF PATIENTS THAT SHOULD NOT RECEIVE THE INFLUENZA VACCINATION are those who experienced anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction) after a previous dose of any flu vaccine. Or anaphylaxis due to any component of the influenza vaccine.

What about Egg Allergy and the Influenza Vaccine?

  • Egg allergy is NOT a contraindication to flu vaccine
  • People with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated with influenza vaccines
  • People with a history of anaphylaxis to egg can be vaccinated with a full vaccine dose in medical facilities, with experienced staff

Immunisation Services from Campbell & Freebairn Chemist

From January 2020 our pharmacy can give the following vaccinations to people 16 YEARS and older.

  • influenza
  • diphtheria + tetanus+ whooping cough
  • measles + mumps + rubella

What about the “Free Fluvax”?

The Commonwealth Government funds a FREE National Immunisation Program through your local GP clinic (sadly our pharmacy can’t supply the free vaccinations to customers, you must go through your doctor) This program covers common preventable diseases and covers babies, toddlers, teenagers and adults.

The National Program provides FREE flu vaccines to certain patients.

To receive a FREE flu vaccine, from your doctor you must be one of the following:

  • over 65 years old
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, over 6 months old
  • pregnant
  • over 6 months old and having certain medical risk factors (eg heart disease, severe asthma, chronic lung infections, impaired immunity, diabetes, kidney disease)

Why do I need a vaccine each year?

The strains of influenza included each year changes. The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee looks at Australian population and disease information and considers WHO recommendations for the southern hemisphere.

In 2020 three of the four strains from 2019 have been changed to match the predicted circulating strains.

Contact Us