Flu shot - residents urged to get it now as NSW cases double in a week, hospital visits on the rise
Hawkesbury residents are being urged to book in for their flu vaccine, with the number of infections across NSW increasing significantly over the last few weeks.
NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said cases are rising quickly throughout the state, with several recent outbreaks also affecting boarding schools.
“There were 2000 new flu cases notified in NSW in the week ending May 7, compared with 1024 cases in the previous week, as well as around 60 emergency department presentations for flu-like illness that required an admission to hospital,” Dr Chant said.
“We are also seeing an increase in the proportion of people testing positive. Of 25,556 tests conducted for influenza in the week ending May 7, 9.1 per cent were positive, compared with 5.3 per cent in the previous week.”
Vaccination provides essential protection for people of all ages against severe illness from influenza, but it is particularly important for those more vulnerable.
Everyone six months and older is recommended to get a flu shot. The rollout of the flu vaccination program is the Commonwealth Government’s responsibility and vaccines are available through GPs, and pharmacies for everyone aged 10 years and over.
Those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza are eligible for a free flu vaccine. This includes:
· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months of age
· Children from six months to under five years of age
· People with serious health conditions (including severe asthma, diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, obesity, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease)
· Pregnant women
· People aged 65 and over.
When people book, they should ask their pharmacist or GP which vaccine is right for them.
NSW Health continues to urge everyone to take simple precautions to protect each other:
· Stay at home if you are sick and avoid close contact with other people to protect yourself and the community from flu and COVID-19
· Wear a mask in indoor spaces if you are unable to physically distance
· Gather in well ventilated spaces or open windows and doors
· Sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands
· Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
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