Queenslander’s Urged To Get Their Flu Jabs

Queenslander’s Urged To Get Their Flu Jabs

Queensland Minister for Health Steven Miles

Now Is The Best Time For Flu Vaccination

Victor P Taffa

Queensland’s Minister for Health Steven Miles is urging Gold Coast residents to get their flu jabs as the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service braces for another flu season.

Minister Miles encouraged Gold Coasters to arrange to have their flu vaccines as soon as possible, to avoid getting sick or ending up in emergency.

“It’s important for Queenslanders to get vaccinated every year because it’s the best way to protect yourself from the flu.” Minister Miles said.

Gold Coast mum Courtney Potts knows too well how serious the flu can be, after an emergency visit to Robina Hospital with her daughter Maddison, who was 2 years old at the time.

“We were away on holiday and Maddy kept having little coughing fits and stopped eating. She just wasn’t herself and had high temps, so we came back home. Maddie went downhill quickly though, began vomiting and was almost unresponsive.” Ms. Potts said.

“As soon as a rash developed, we went to Robina Hospital and they took us straight in to a private room. They gave Maddie antibiotics and vaccinations straight away and took swabs on the spot.”

“Everyone was amazing, especially as it was New Year’s Eve. We were transferred via ambulance to Gold Coast University Hospital where we stayed for two nights.” Ms. Potts said.

Children’s Emergency Department Staff Specialist Dr. Graham Jay said Maddie’s story illustrated just how serious the flu can be, particularly in the very young.

“Flu is serious viral illness. It is not the same as a common cold and can lead to serious complications, particularly in the very young, elderly and people with complex chronic diseases.” Dr. Jay said.

“Each year, the impact of the flu is significant in our community, and we see that reflected in the increase in presentations to our hospitals during flu season.”

“Nearly 450 people have been admitted to hospital with influenza since last April, with 32 of those requiring ICU admissions.” Dr. Jay said.

Minister Miles said Gold Coasters should book in with their GP or pharmacist now.

“Flu viruses change frequently, which is why it’s so important for Queenslanders to get vaccinated every year.” Minister Miles said.

“While it’s never too late to vaccinate for influenza, I urge Gold Coasters not to delay in having their flu jab.”

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said Queenslanders can purchase the vaccine from their GP or pharmacy.

“Recently the government announced that 16-17-year olds could visit a pharmacy to get vaccinisations including the flu, previously it was only over 18’s.” Ms. Scanlon said.

“This is making it even easier for people of all aged to get the flu shot there really is no excuse.”

A free influenza vaccine was available for all adults aged 65 years and older, all pregnant women, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from 6 months-5 years and from 15 years and older, and all individuals 6 months and older with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza.

Gold Coast Health offers a range of immunisation services to the Coast community, including regular free community immunisation clinics.

Immunisation is even more accessible for Gold Coasters with an additional 4 clinics scheduled in coming months:

  • 18th May at Robina Library
  • 25th May at Pacific Pines High School Hall
  • 22nd June at Robina Library
  • 29th June at Pacific Pines High School Hall

Abbreviations:

ICU                 Intensive Care Unit