Winter is coming: Get your flu shot

The QLD Government has stepped up its efforts in the battle of WinterFlu with MPs lining up for their flu shots at Parliament House.

More than 9,345 influenza cases have already been confirmed across the state since the start of 2019 – more than triple the five-year average for the same period.

The QLD Premier and QLD Health Minister Steven Miles led by example by getting their flu jab in Parliament.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was concerned at the unprecedented number of notifications and urged Queenslanders to get immunised.

“It’s been a horrid year for flu and peak season is still a few months away,” the Premier said.

“The flu shot is by far the best way of ensuring you don’t get sick and end up in hospital, as many Queenslanders already have unfortunately.

“I’m asking Queenslanders who can, to get the flu shot.”

There have been 775 hospitalisations and 68 ICU admissions, so far in 2019.

Minister Miles said people should take all precautions possible to avoid being infected, including being more vigilant with personal hygiene.

“Now is the time to get your vaccination and protect yourself against infection, keeping in mind it takes between 10 and 14 days to take full effect,” he said.

“Simple things like covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and washing your hands regularly can also help protect people from catching or spreading the flu.

“For some people in high-risk categories, influenza can be deadly so it’s crucial we all play our part to help stop it spreading and reduce its effects on the community.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the QLD Government funds a free flu vaccine for all children aged from six months to under five years.

“My daughter Odette will be getting her free flu shot this year (2019), funded by the Queensland Government,” she said.

“Kids are great at spreading germs, so as a Mum I know its really important to get my child vaccinated against the flu.”

Commonwealth-funded free vaccines are available to eligible people, including:

  • pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
  • people 65 years of age or older
  • all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people six months of age and older
  • people six months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

All other Queenslanders can buy the flu vaccine from their doctor or immunisation provider.

Flu season in Queensland generally peaks during August.

For more details, phone 13 HEALTH, your GP or immunisation provider.

Source: QLD Government