Influenza or 'the flu' is a highly contagious disease caused by infection from influenza type A or B virus. These viruses infect the upper airways and lungs. Flu vaccine is free for persons in the high risk groups below or there is a small fee for the vaccine for those who are not in high risk groups. Gold Coast Health also protects patients by offering free flu vaccines to all Gold Coast Health staff.
Flu vaccination is required annually, as immunity from the vaccine decreases over time and the vaccine is changed each year to cover the changing virus strains. The best time to be vaccinated against flu is between March and May, before the flu season starts. Vaccination usually takes up to 2 weeks to be effective.
If you don’t have access to the free vaccine, you can arrange to be vaccinated by a doctor or immunisation nurse at your local medical centre. Many community pharmacies also offer a private flu vaccination service.
Gold Coast Health recommends all Residential Care Facilities (RCF) have an Influenza Readiness Plan in place to ensure effective protection for residents.For more information read Influenza Readiness presentation and Readiness Plan template. If you require further assistance send your enquiry details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are in a high-risk group, you can be vaccinated for free under the Immunise Australia program. High-risk groups include:
- All adults aged >65 years of age
- Pregnant women during any trimester
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged >15 years of age
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to <5 years of age
- Individuals >6 months of age with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza.
As well as the above high risk groups Gold Coast Public Health recommends all children over 6 months of age receive a flu vaccine.
Influenza or 'the flu' is a highly contagious disease caused by infection from influenza type A or B virus. These viruses infect the upper airways and lungs.
Flu is not the same as a common cold, and can be a serious illness. For some people, such as the elderly, and the very young, those with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women, the flu can cause serious complications which require hospitalisation. It can sometimes lead to death. On average around 15 children die each year of influenza and around 2000 adults.