What is influenza (the flu)?
Influenza commonly called the flu, is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. For most people, influenza resolves on its own, but sometimes, influenza and its complications can become dangerous and may take days or even weeks to settle for people at higher risk.
Which are the people at higher risk of developing flu complications?
- All individuals 65 years and older and all children under 5
- Children and adults with chronic diseases such as asthma or other chronic pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease (with the exception of hypertension), hepatic, haematological, renal or metabolic diseases and patients with diabetes.
- People with weakened immune systems or people taking medicines that lower their natural defences
- Women who will be or are pregnant during the influenza season
- Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- Caregivers and household contacts of children under age 5 or the elderly
- People who are very obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I know if I can I have a flu vaccine?
Everyone that is in good health and is over 18 years of age can have a flu vaccine. Vaccination is also available for young children of 5 years of age and under However, there are some exceptions (i.e. if you have a viral infection), but the pharmacist will determine your suitability during your consultation.
Should I have a flu vaccine this year?
Even though there is a great deal of unpredictability inherent in flu season, one thing is sure: an annual flu shot is your first line of defence against the virus.The quadrivalent vaccines are formulated according to the World Health Organisation’s recommendations for the 2017 Southern Hemisphere influenza season.
Do I need to book an appointment?
Yes. It is required to book and appointment at your nearest store to get your flu vaccine. There are specific dates and times that vaccination is administrated in our stores and you can book either online, by phone, or by simply walking in to our stores.
Do I need a doctor’s prescription?
A doctor’s prescription is not required to get your flu vaccine.However, if you are dealing with any particular chronic conditions it’s important that you inform your GP of your intention to get a flu vaccine.
Do I need to pay before receiving my vaccination (my scheduled booking)?
Yes. In order to receive a confirmation and secure your booking, payment with a credit card must be made. If you don’t have a credit card then simply visit your nearest participating store (in person) to pay by cash or EFTPOS.
How long will the appointment take?
We ask that you arrive 10 minutes prior to your booking time to allow for registration and screening. Following your vaccination, you will be asked to stay in the immediate area of the clinic for 15 minutes to observe for any adverse reaction to the injection.
How do I cancel my booking?
If for any reason you are unable to attend your designated flu shot appointment, your booking is able to be changed or cancelled. If you wish to cancel or change a booking more than 24 hours prior to the appointment, then you need to call the store in which you booked your vaccination. Full refund will be provided for cancellations made within 24hours.
Should you wish to cancel a booking in less than 24 hours prior to your appointment, you need to contact the store in which your vaccination was to be provided and they can cancel your booking over the phone. No refund will be provided for cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment or in case of non-show.
How quickly does the flu vaccine take effect?
It can take between 2 to 3 weeks to become fully effective.
Should I get vaccinated against winter flu every year?
Yes, the virus that causes flu changes every year, so you should get vaccinated this year even if you had the flu vaccination last year. The flu vaccination also covers you against the H1N1 swine flu virus.
I had the flu vaccination last year but still caught flu. Why?
The flu vaccination is the best protection against the most common strains of flu. However the vaccination is not protection against all the different viruses which can produce flu-like symptoms. Getting vaccinated significantly reduces your chances of getting flu. Also, as the flu vaccination takes up to two weeks to become fully effective, it is still possible to be affected by flu during this time.
Will the flu vaccination give me flu?
No, the flu vaccination only contains inactive particles of the flu viruses so it can’t cause flu. If you get flu immediately after receiving the flu vaccination it is likely to be because the vaccination has not yet become fully effective. You should therefore have the flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available.
Why is it a bad idea to get the flu vaccine when sick?
When you are ill with another infection and running a temperature, your immune system will already be busy fighting off that infection, so it wouldn’t be advisable to give any type of vaccination.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccination?
Most people don’t experience any adverse effects, however the most common side effects are general aches and pains, a rash at the injection site and feeling tired. These will usually go away within a day or two, but if symptoms do persist you’ll need to see your GP. If your arm feels sore apply a cold flannel and take painkillers, if necessary. If you have a headache or slight fever, drink plenty of water and take painkillers, if necessary, such as paracetamol. Please ask your pharmacist for more advice.
What is my risk of a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccination?
Serious side effects are extremely rare, however all Pharmacy Nutrition Warehouse staff providing this service are fully trained in managing what is called ‘anaphylaxis’. Anaphylaxis can occur when a patient has a severe allergic reaction to a vaccination they are given. Symptoms can include fainting, shortness of breath, falling blood pressure and swelling of the face and throat. Anaphylaxis is extremely rare and typically happens within ten minutes of a patient receiving the injection.
Should you have any further questions, make sure you contact one of the following before you get the flu vaccine:
- Your doctor
- Your local pharmacist
- Emergency department of your nearest hospital
- Your local government immunisation service
- Maternal and Child Health Line (24 hours) Tel. 132 229
- NURSE-ON-CALL Tel. 1300 60 60 24 – for expert health information and advice (24 hours, 7 days)
- Immunisation Program, Department of Health, Victorian Government Tel. 1300 882 008
- National Immunisation Information Line Tel. 1800 671 811
- Australian Government Department of Health – “Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates” (available at:http://www.health.gov.au/flureport)
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition (available at: Click Here)
- Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates (available at: http://www.health.gov.au/flureport)
- Better Health Channel – Influenza (available at: Click Here
- Better Health Channel – Influenza (Immunisation) (available at: Click Here)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – “What You Should Know for the 2015-20146 Influenza Season” (available at:http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm)
- Influenza Specialist Group (available at: http://www.isg.org.au/index.php/)
- World Health Organization – Influenza (seasonal) (available at: Click Here)
- World Health Organisation – Hand Hygiene: Why, How & When? (available at: Click Here)
- World Health Organization – ‘”Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the southern hemisphere 2016 influenza season and development of candidate vaccine viruses for pandemic preparedness (available at: Click Here)
GENERAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
This booking is subject to availability at Pharmacy Nutrition Warehouse stores and takes place on selected days and times.
If there is a cost involved for this service, it is specified throughout the booking process
If there is an age restriction for the clinic, it is communicated throughout the booking process.
This service is designed to support advice given to you by your doctor
To ensure that all appointments will run on time, we ask that you arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your booking time. The length of the appointment is specified throughout the booking process.
At Pharmacy Nutrition Warehouse, we understand that unexpected events can occur. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, we ask that you please contact the store as soon as possible. Cancellation fees apply if cancellation occurs in less than 24 hours’ notice or in case of non-show.
If for any reason Pharmacy Nutrition Warehouse needs to cancel or reschedule your booking you will be contacted at the earliest opportunity. In addition, we ensure you that we will make any effort to reschedule your appointment at your earliest convenience.
By making an appointment and providing your contact details, you understand that you may be contacted by Pharmacy Nutrition Warehouse in relation to your appointment by email or phone.