Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Protect your children with a free flu vaccine

By Vaseline May27,2024
Protect your children with a free flu vaccine

Influenza, commonly known as influenza, is a viral infection that causes fever, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, sore throat and cough. In children it can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Flu spreads very easily and quickly between people through coughing, talking, sneezing and contact with contaminated hands, tissues and other infected objects. Babies and young children are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill, may end up in hospital and require intensive medical support.

The best way to protect your child against the flu is to have an annual flu vaccination. Children aged 6 months to 5 years are eligible for a free flu vaccination from participating GPs, councils, community health centers and Aboriginal health centres.

Your questions about the flu vaccine answered

Q. Are there different strains of flu?

Flu is caused by influenza viruses classified as types A, B, or C. Only influenza A and B viruses are included in seasonal flu vaccines, as these cause the majority of flu in humans.

Q. Is a flu vaccine mandatory?

No. However, it is recommended for children between 6 months and 5 years of age as it provides the best protection against flu-related hospitalizations.

Q. Why do children from 6 months to under 5 years receive a free vaccination?

This age group is at greater risk of being seriously affected by influenza and is more likely to experience complications that can lead to hospital admission.

Q. Is the flu vaccine safe?

Yes. All vaccines in Australia must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA evaluates all vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective.

Q. Does my child need another flu? shot every year?

Yes. Immunity to the flu virus wanes over time, so it is important to get a new vaccine each flu season.

Q. What are the side effects for my child?

Most vaccines can cause mild and short-term side effects, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, pain and swelling at the injection site. These can last for one to two days and disappear without any treatment. Serious allergic reactions are very rare.

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