Don’t forget your flu vaccination in 2022

Although COVID is still top of everyone’s mind, the influenza virus hasn’t gone away. Here are 9 reasons why you should consider getting vaccinated against the flu in 2022.

May 5, 2022

Firstly, any COVID vaccination will not protect you from getting the flu. They are two different viruses which require two different vaccines.  

During the COVID pandemic, there has been reduced circulation of the influenza virus and lower levels of influenza vaccine coverage compared with previous years. A resurgence of influenza is expected as Australian borders reopen, and COVID restrictions are relaxed. Here are a few things you should consider:

  1. Flu is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause widespread illness and deaths every year.  
  1. Increased hand-hygiene and social distancing helped to stop the spread of flu viruses in the community over the last two years, but this flu season may be different.  
  1. Removing mask and capacity rules may allow flu viruses to recirculate, even if they haven’t been too serious over the past couple of years.  
  1. Influenza is a very contagious infection of the airways. It affects people of all ages. Although it can be a mild disease, it can also cause very serious illness in otherwise healthy people.  
  1. Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from serious disease caused by the flu.  
  1. By getting vaccinated against the flu virus, you can also help protect other people, especially people who are too sick or too young to be vaccinated. The more people who are vaccinated in your community, the less likely the disease will spread.  
  1. Annual immunisation is recommended as the influenza virus is constantly changing, and the vaccine changes accordingly.
  1. If you are due to get a COVID vaccine or booster, you can now get your influenza vaccination at the same time (co-administered on the same day) as advised by the Australian Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI).
  1. If you have been ill with COVID, it is best to wait until you have fully recovered before getting the flu vaccine.

Getting vaccinated in autumn is recommended.  This provides protection in time for the peak flu season (usually in winter in most parts of Australia).  However, it is never too late to vaccinate since it can circulate in the community all year round.    

If you have any questions or concerns, always speak to your doctor.  

Sources:  
www.health.gov.au/  
ATAGI
https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/
Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your doctor or health professional. Always seek your own medical advice regarding the flu vaccination from your doctor or health professional.
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