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 03 4215 0000

Flu vaccination program underway

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

APPOINTMENTS are now open for influenza vaccination in the Geelong region, with the flu season approaching.

The immunisation program has received the 2021 Influenza vaccine stock and has commenced administering the vaccines in line with the eligibility guidelines for the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Meanwhile, Barwon Health will begin its staff flu vaccination program at the end of April.

The NIP is open to clients starting at the age of six months, and the service offers free vaccines under the National Immunisation Program for those under the age of five, as well as those aged 65 and over, our Aboriginal community, and anyone with medical risk factors, including pregnancy. Paid flu vaccines are also available to other members of the community.

Barwon Health Immunisation Program acting clinical co-ordinator Francesca Zygmunt said annual vaccination was recommended before the onset of each influenza season, and the peak period of influenza circulation in the community was usually June to September for most parts of Australia.

"Optimal protection against influenza occurs within the first 3-4 months following immunisation," she said.

"We are expecting a large uptake of the vaccine through our services, GPs and pharmacists in the region.

"We have been receiving consistent enquiries over the past few weeks and are now pleased to be able to offer appointments at our sessions in Belmont, Corio and Ocean Grove.

"It is important to have a two-week gap between vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19 for the vaccines to be effective."

Francesca said there had been a significant decrease in flu cases since the first COVID-19 cases last year heightened awareness around the importance of social distancing and hand hygiene.

"It is anticipated that awareness will play a part in keeping the rates of influenza as low as possible. However, with many activities returning to normal, and more people returning to the workplace and socialising, we can expect to see higher levels of influenza in the community compared to last year."

To make an appointment with Barwon Health, call 4215 7028.