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    Pharmacist Amanda Carracher administers the flu jab at Terry White Chemmart in Horsham.

Pharmacist warns of danger in this year’s influenza season

A Wimmera pharmacist has warned of the dangers of complacency as the influenza season ramps up for 2022.

Flu-vaccination numbers were low last year compared with other seasons and a common misconception has been that COVID-19 vaccination would protect people through the winter. 

Long-time Horsham pharmacist Stuart Hall said COVID-19 and influenza had a few common symptoms but were two ‘very’ different killer viruses.

“I’ve heard comments in the community that no one caught the flu last year. That is just not right,” he said.  “There were no deaths recorded last year from influenza, but the reality is we were all wearing masks and socially distancing or in lockdowns.

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“That is not going to be the case this winter and inevitably the flu cases will again be prevalent and deaths more likely.” 

Mr Hall said everyone should get an annual influenza vaccine anytime from mid-April onwards to be protected for the peak flu season, which is generally June to September. 

He said there was no longer any time interval required between a COVID-19 vaccination and an influenza vaccination. 

“You can get both vaccinations at the same time on the same day,” he said.

Special risk groups are eligible to receive the influenza vaccine free of charge under a National Immunisation Program. Influenza vaccine is free for all infants and children from six months to under five and for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older. There is an age-specific, adjuvanted influenza vaccine for people 65 years and older. 

The entire May 4, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!