Every year the flu shot prevents millions of deaths and thousands of hospitalisations worldwide. Getting your flu vaccine gives you the best chance of protecting yourself, your family and your community from preventable illness and lost productivity. But does the flu shot and what do you need to know before you get vaccinated?


Why Getting The Flu Shot Is So Important?



Vulnerable People Need Protection With Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Everyone over the age of six months is recommended to get their flu vaccine, especially older and more vulnerable people. Healthcare workers as well as people who work with the elderly are also advised to protect themselves by being immunised every year.

It is important for pregnant women to get their flu vaccinations too because babies younger than six months cannot have the shot. Protection from their mothers is required.

Free flu shots are made available to certain demographics under the National Immunisation Program:

  • Children between the ages of 6 months and five years
  • People who have underlying health conditions would be at risk if they contracted flu
  • Pregnant women
  • Torres Strait Islander people
  • People who are over the age of 65


How Does The Flu Vaccine Work?

The flu shot is not a live vaccine so you cannot contract influenza from it. Each year vaccinations are developed to protect people against the most dominant strains in circulation, which is why it’s so important to have your vaccination annually.

People have maximum protection from the flu three to four months after receiving the flu shot. It is advisable to have your flu shot before the start of flu season, which typically runs from June to September in Australia. Getting your flu shot in Autumn, around April, gives you enough time to develop maximum immunity against influenza.


What Are The Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine?

Most side effects are minimal and only affect a small percentage of people. Tiredness, body aches, fever, redness and pain at the injection site have been reported. Sometimes the side effects are more pronounced in children under the age of five years.


So Does The Flu Shot Work?

flu vaccination shots southbankStudies show that the flu vaccine is effective at preventing influenza in six out of ten healthy adults, so the odds are in your favour in terms of being protected. While there is no absolute guarantee that the vaccine will prevent you from contracting influenza if you do you are likely to experience a much milder illness and may recover faster.

Because it is not possible to predict who will catch the flu or how sick you could become if you do get it, it is best to be safe, play your part in society, and have your shot.

Health authorities also appeal to the public to be mindful of the healthcare system in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and to have their vaccinations in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system.


Do you want to know more about ‘does the flu shot work’? Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, rather ask a professional: (03) 9699 9121

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