Don Collins got his flu vaccine from Dr Ross Hetherington on Thursday.
Don Collins got his flu vaccine from Dr Ross Hetherington on Thursday. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Take a shot at avoiding flu

AS THE temperatures begin to drop and the winter woollens come out of storage, Warwick residents are being reminded to take precautions as the dreaded flu season settles in.

Dr Ross Hetherington said the Condamine Medical Centre has been running a flu clinic since mid-March and have already performed at least 300 vaccinations.

Older people were previously given a combine flu/pneumonia vaccine, which was followed up by a booster in five years but Dr Hetherington said recommendations had now changed to exclude the booster.

“The advice this year is not to give a booster to people who have had it previously, as some people have been suffering from a local reaction, including redness and swelling,” he said.

Last year there were also some children in Western Australia who suffered adverse reactions following flu vaccines and Dr Hetherington said it was now not advisable to vaccinate children under 10.

Dr Hetherington said it was important for people to remember that while they might feel a little off colour after their vaccination, they could not catch the flu from it.

“You can’t catch the flu from the vaccine, the same way you can’t get tetanus from a tetanus vaccine,” he said.

Don Collins said although he didn’t get the flu vaccine regularly, this week his body was telling him it might just be a good idea.

“I woke up this morning a bit achy and a friend of mine said it sounded like the start of the flu. I feel fine now but I thought I would come down and do the right thing,” he said.

Mr Collins grinned through his needle and laughed off the question as to whether it was painful.

“I have been through a lot so, no, it didn’t hurt,” Mr Collins said.

Some people may be eligible for free vaccines at the centre, including, those aged 65 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 15, and pregnant women.

Medical ‘at risk’ groups may also receive the vaccine, including those with cardiac disease, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic neurological conditions, and those with impaired immunity.

The Condamine Medical Centre holds its flu clinic every day at three different intervals; however patients could not choose their doctor.



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