29 April, 2021
Queenslanders urged not to be complacent with flu this year
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath is urging Queenslanders to get the influenza vaccine to help protect against the flu over the winter months.
“Now more than ever, it’s vital for all Queenslanders aged six months and older to get vaccinated against influenza this season,” the Minister said.
“Last year we saw a significant decrease in influenza cases due to social distancing and rigorous hand hygiene and we thank everyone for their amazing effort - but we can’t become complacent.
“We’re still in this pandemic and we need to prevent our hospitals from being clogged with flu patients during the winter months.
“Just as importantly, we need to prevent people from being infected simultaneously with flu and COVID-19.
“This year, all flu vaccines offer protection against four strains of influenza.”
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said now is the best time to get the influenza vaccine to help protect against getting the flu over the winter months.
“Government-funded flu vaccines are being distributed for eligible Queenslanders, including those aged over 65,” she said.
“It’s also available to children aged between 6 months and 5 years, pregnant women, those with certain medical conditions and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people older than 6 months.
“They should all book an appointment to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“Those not eligible for the free vaccine should still book an appointment with their GP, pharmacist immuniser, immunisation provider or as part of their workplace program (if available) to get vaccinated.
“Although the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce the severity and spread of influenza, which may make a person more susceptible to other respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.”
Flu season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August.
There is still flu circulating every year, and just like COVID-19, it can be fatal. The best time of year is between mid-April until the end of May to ensure you are best protected through the peak of the flu season.
It is also recommended to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine.
For more information on the influenza vaccine or getting vaccinated, please contact your health care provider or visit the Federal Government website https://www.health.gov.au/news/flu-vaccination-in-2021