ABOUT COVID-19 AND FLU IMMUNISATIONS
Everyone can get the flu vaccination, if they are able. However, it's strongly advised that those who are in higher risk groups should get the vaccine. These higher risk groups include:
- Children between 6 months and 4 years*
- People over 65 years
- Pregnant women
- People with weakened immune systems or chronic health conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders
- People who are obese
- People who smoke
*Note: Children under 10 must receive their flu vaccination from a GP
We charge $24.99 for flu vaccinations in store.
You can book in for a flu vaccination at your GP or pharmacy. Some work places also organise vaccinations for their employees. You no longer need a prescription to get a flu vaccination.
Less than 15% of people experience side effects from the flu vaccine. Whilst not common, these side effects may include fever, tiredness and muscle aches. These side effects can start within a few hours of being vaccinated, and can sometimes last for 1 or 2 days. They usually go away on their own, once your body has developed an immune response to the vaccine, which will protect you from the flu virus.
Some side effects of the flu vaccine include:
- Muscle soreness and aches
- Bruising and swelling at the site of vaccination
- Low-grade temperature (fever)
- Drowsiness or tiredness
Seek medical attention if these symptoms persist or increase.
Similar to the flu vaccination, the COVID-19 vaccine has some side effects. Most commonly, these can include bruising, redness and pain at the vaccination site. Other possible side effects may include, fatigue, fever and muscle aches.
These side effects can vary between each person. Seek medical attention if any of these symptoms persist or increase.
You'll need a valid Medicare card to book your vaccination with your GP. If you have your flu vaccine at a pharmacy, you don't need a Medicare card. You will, however, be required to fill out a Consent and Recording form with your details.
It's recommended that you get re-vaccinated against the flu each year, as the strains of flu change. It's also recommended that you get the flu vaccination every year to ensure those around you are protected, as well as yourself.
Similar to the flu vaccination, the COVID-19 vaccination is considered the most effective way to protect communities and individuals against infectious diseases. Getting the COVID-19 vaccination also reduces your own risk of potentially contracting COVID-19, and its potentially severe symptoms.
Both the cold and flu are caused by different viruses. Sometimes both the cold and flu have similar symptoms, so it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. In most circumstances, the flu results in more severe symptoms, such as a higher temperature, and more temperature-related symptoms than a cold, like chills and aches.
The yearly flu vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the flu virus by between 40% and 60%. However this will vary based on each individual person.
Both the flu and COVID-19 are viruses that effect the respiratory system. People can experience similar symptoms in both viruses, including, fever, chesty cough, headache and muscle aches.
If you're currently experiencing mild cold and flu symptoms, it's recommended to be tested for COVID-19, and to self isolate.
For further information, our pharmacist Daniel answers all of your questions
Seek medical attention if any of these symptoms persist or increase.
All the COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout Australia must pass rigorous testing and approval through the Theraputic Goods Administration (TGA). These tests and standards ensure vaccines are safe and scientifically accurate.
Check out our COVID-19 breakdown article for further information about the COVID-19 vaccination.
Individuals over 16 years of age are strongly recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Those under 16 years of age can receive the vaccination under a doctors recommendation.
The Australian government is currently in the process of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination in 3 stages.
To check what stage you will be eligible to receive the vaccination, click here.
Currently, it's not recommended to receive both vaccinations at the same time. If you would like to have both vaccines, you should leave a minimum of 14 days between receiving each vaccine. It's recommended to consult your doctor regarding your vaccination schedule.
Whilst all of the vaccines are there to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission, they all have different rates of effectiveness, which will vary between each person.
The vaccines are also different in their scientific make-up. Some of them are mRNA vaccines, meaning that a small piece of ‘spike protein’ from the surface of the COVID-19 causing virus is included in the vaccine. When this protein enters the immune system, the body builds up an immune response ensuring your system can fight against future infection.
The other kind is a synthetic mRNA vaccine, made from enzymes. This sends “messenger” RNA into the body with “instructions” on how the body should produce antigens.
Australia has purchased COVID-19 vaccines from four different companies. The first two that are currently being rolled out are the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Australia also has deals to roll out the NOVAVAX and COVAX manufactured vaccines. However, these will begin their rollout later in 2021.