Flu vaccines are now available at our Northcote clinic. Existing patients of Turn The Corner are now able to book an appointment online.
Why do I need an annual flu shot? Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread by contact with fluid from coughs and sneezes. The virus has an ability to change its surface structure (which it does, to keep one step ahead of humans and their pesky vaccines). This means that even if you had the flu or the vaccine last year, your body’s immune system might be unable to fight the new, changed version of the virus this year. Further, over the COVID-19 period there has been lower exposure to influenza virus and lower levels of influenza vaccine coverage compared to previous years. With borders reopening, authorities are anticipating a possible resurgence of influenza in 2022.
Why now? The highest level of protection occurs in the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination. Annual vaccination should ideally occur before the onset of each influenza season – which in Melbourne is usually June to September.
Who should get a flu shot? Anyone over 6 months old. You qualify for a Government vaccine if you are under 5, over 65, have certain conditions that make you more at risk, identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, or are pregnant.
How much will it cost? For those eligible for a Government vaccine, we charge a $15 nurse fee for its administration. The cost of the private vaccine for those not eligible for a Government vaccine is $29, inclusive of the nurse fee.
I’m in. How do I book? Online with our wonderful “Nurse Flu/COVID Vaccinations” at the Northcote clinic. Alternatively, you could have your vaccine as part of a normal 15- or 30-min appointment with your regular doctor.
And finally – what about flu and COVID? ATAGI has advised that influenza vaccines can be co-administered (on the same day) with a COVID-19 vaccine. This is why you can now book flu vaccines and COVID boosters with the same Nurse. If you’re interested in having both on the same day, just book back-to-back appointments (or close to it). The COVID vaccine remains bulk billed (no charge), but there will be a fee for any flu vaccine you have.