28 April 2024

Book in for your flu and COVID-19 shots before winter, health experts urge

| Chris Roe
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woman preparing a vaccination

The Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network is reminding the community to have their vaccinations before winter. Photo: Supplied.

With the weather turning decidedly chilly and an increasing number of children and colleagues coming down with coughs and colds, the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) has sent out a reminder to book in for a flu and COVID-19 vaccination.

While the pandemic is starting to feel like a distant memory and widespread vaccinations have reduced its severity, COVID is still around and many in the community remain vulnerable.

MPHN clinical programs and emergency response manager Peta Anderson said vaccination remained the best defence against severe illness.

“It’s crucial that people keep their guard up and ensure they have the best chance of a healthy winter by getting vaccinated,” Ms Anderson said.

“Our region’s GPs and pharmacists are ready to help protect you and your family this winter; all you need to do is make an appointment.”

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You can have a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the flu shot and anyone over 18 is eligible for a new COVID booster.

According to the latest data from NSW Health, the levels of COVID-19 and influenza activity remain low, but there are indications of an increase in flu cases across the state and emergency departments have reported high numbers of children being admitted with bronchiolitis.

“Practising healthy habits like regular hand washing and sanitising, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you’re feeling unwell will contribute to reducing the spread of illness,” Ms Anderson said.

“Being proactive can make a difference in keeping Murrumbidgee residents safe and healthy and out of our hospitals this winter.”

Groups most at risk of influenza include children aged between six months and five years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with underlying medical conditions, those aged over 65, and pregnant women.

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