What is the flu?
Influenza is commonly known as the flu. According to the Australian Department of Health (health.gov.au) it is a very contagious infection of your airways. The flu usually causes the most disease during winter.
The flu can produce mild symptoms such as a runny nose, headache, body aches and tiredness. There are lots of different strains of flu virus, and they can change every year.
Learn the difference between a cold and the flu with our handy infographic.
Who is most at risk from flu?
The flu can affect people of all ages.
People at highest risk of being hospitalised with flu are:
- people more than 65 years old
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- pregnant women (and the unborn baby)
- people with long-term medical conditions
- people who have weakened immune systems
- people who are obese
- people who smoke
- people who haven’t been vaccinated against the flu.
Long-term medical conditions that can lead to you having a serious case of the flu include:
- heart disease
- Down syndrome
- lung disease
- conditions of the nervous system (such as multiple sclerosis)
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- blood diseases
- metabolic disorders.
People who have been immunised against the flu can still get the disease, but vaccination does reduce the risk and the severity of illness.
Benefits of a Flu Vaccination
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from serious disease caused by the flu.
By getting vaccinated against the flu, you can also help protect other people, especially people who are too sick or too young to be vaccinated. The more people who are vaccinated in your community, the less likely the disease will spread. Vaccination against the flu reduces the risk of more serious outcomes, like hospitalisations.
How much does a flu vaccination cost?
At the Friendly Society Pharmacy, you don’t need a prescription or an appointment. You can speak to one of our vaccinating pharmacists in one of our private consulting rooms.
In 2021, vaccinate against 4 strains of known influenza. Due to this type of vaccination, we can only vaccinate those over 18 years old. The cost is $21.95 for Friendlies members, $25.85 for non-members.