People at risk of severe flu
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Some people are at risk of getting severe flu. These include:
- people with certain medical conditions
- older people
- people living in aged care facilities
Types of medical conditions causing severe flu
- Heart disease
- Severe asthma
- Chronic lung conditions
- Diseases of your nervous system (for example, multiple sclerosis)
- A weak immune system (from illness or being treated for an illness, for example, cancer)
- Chronic kidney failure
- Blood disorders.
How you can prevent flu
- A flu vaccine every year is the best way to prevent flu.
- A vaccine is a type of medicine to help fight a disease your body has not had.
- The flu vaccine is free for people at risk of severe flu.
- It is important to have the flu vaccine every year from age six months old.
- Make an appointment with your GP to get a free flu vaccine if you are eligible.
- It is also important to wash your hands often to get rid of germs.
- Wash your hands using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
When to get the flu vaccine
- Flu is most common from June until September.
- The best time to get your vaccine is from mid-April.
- The vaccine works best for three to four months after receiving it.
- It is important to get a new flu vaccine every year.
- You don't need to have a second dose in the same year.
Information for aged care facilities
- If you live, work, or visit an aged care facility it is important to get the flu vaccine.
- You should get it every year.
- It is important for your friends and family to get the vaccine too.
- A special flu vaccine is available for people aged 65 and over, and it is free through your GP.
- Do not visit aged care facilities if you have flu or cold symptoms.
- Outbreaks of flu in aged care facilities cause illness, hospitalisation, and deaths.
Flu vaccines for aged care workers
We recommend all people working in aged care get the flu vaccine. This includes:
- administrative staff
- care assistants
- allied health workers (for example, physiotherapists, social workers)
- cleaning and kitchen staff
- religious workers
- temporary, part-time and casual workers.