Fight the flu – it starts with you!


Flu vaccinations are now available at Next Practice Sydney

The flu vaccine is a safe and highly effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones during flu season. Influenza is a serious illness that can make people extremely unwell, and in some cases can even be fatal. In 2019 nearly 310,000 people contracted the flu!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, protecting yourself against influenza has never been more important. The recommendation this year is for all Australians to receive their flu vaccines as early as possible. At Next Practice Sydney, we are committed to keeping our community, and all of Sydney, safe and healthy!

Flu can come on suddenly, with early symptoms including fatigue, body aches and chills, cough, sore throat and fever. Seek immediate medical advice if the illness becomes worse or if you experience shortness of breath or rapid breathing, chest pain, confusion or sudden dizziness, or persistent vomiting.

The flu is spread by droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes, this also includes touching surfaces where these droplets have landed.

  • People with chronic conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, liver and kidney disorders, endocrine disorders and obesity are more likely to develop complications from flu
  • Children aged 6 months to 5 years, people aged 65 years and older, Aboriginal and Torres strait islander people aged 6 months and over, and pregnant women are also more at risk
  • In Australia, influenza on average causes 3,500 deaths, about 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations each year

6 tips to help stay healthy this flu season

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Get the flu vaccine
  • Cover your sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid contact with sick people

Who should receive the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is highly recommended for certain demographics who are more at risk of severe influenza, including those over 65, children 6 months to 5 years old, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and anyone with medical risk factors for severe flu.

That being said, everyone who is eligible should receive the flu vaccine. Without a large number of people being immunised we cannot achieve herd immunity, meaning our community and our loved ones might not be protected (especially those who are medically unable to receive the vaccine). While vaccination is about protecting individuals, it’s much more about protecting the group!

What makes this year different?

This year, it is even more essential for all eligible Australians to be immunised. While the flu vaccine doesn’t offer any protection against Covid-19, contracting both Influenza and Covid-19 would be extremely serious, and the combined burden of these illnesses could overwhelm our health system. A flu outbreak during an existing pandemic could result in an indefinite lockdown period, shortage of staff in essential workforces and more.

Australia has done an excellent job so far at limiting the spread of Covid-19. The flu vaccine will be an essential part of continuing that work by ensuring we are able to control another sinister respiratory illness.

How can you ensure social-distancing while giving flu vaccines?

At Next Practice, we have several strategies in place to maintain social distancing as much as possible. All vaccinations are by appointment, meaning that we are controlling how many people are in the waiting room at any given time. We are asking all patients on arrival to complete a vaccine questionnaire and consent form before seeing the clinician, to ensure face-to-face consultation time is reduced. Finally, our clinicians will wear a mask when administering you vaccination to protect you from respiratory particles.

Some of our clinics, such as Next Practice Sydney, are also offering a Drive-Thru flu vaccination service! This means that dedicated parking is available next to the clinic and the vaccination consult can be done while you remain in your car. The process is simple, safe and endorsed by peak medical bodies.

What can I expect from the flu shot?

Before your vaccination, the doctor or nurse will ask you a few simple questions to ensure that it is safe for you to receive the vaccine on that day. If they decide that it isn’t suitable, they will advise you whether you should re-book for another time or if the vaccine is not indicated for you at all (for example, having an allergy to one of the vaccine’s components). They will also give you information about the vaccine, its side-effects, and perform a brief assessment.

During your vaccination, your doctor or nurse will ask you to roll up your sleeve all the way to your shoulder. The vaccination is given into the deltoid muscle, and is a very quick procedure taking only about 5 - 10 seconds. Receiving the vaccine can feel like a slight sting or pressure, although for many it is painless.

After your vaccination, you will be asked to remain onsite (or in your car) for 15 minutes. This is to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. In the days after your vaccination you may experience some mild side-effects, including a sore muscle or some mild flu-like symptoms. Your doctor or nurse will explain these in detail. Your doctor or nurse will also give you some more information about the vaccine, as well as ways that you can engage with Next Practice remotely to maintain your health and wellbeing during lockdown.

Why choose Next Practice?

There are three reasons to choose Next Practice for your flu vaccine. The first is that we pride ourselves on clinicians who are exceptional at what they do; you will be cared for by a doctor or nurse of the highest standard. Secondly, we offer a broad range of other services that are now available via Telehealth (video or phone); you can discuss these at your visit and learn how you can still receive comprehensive care while observing the requirements of lockdown.

Most importantly, Next Practice, in partnership with Unicef, donate a vaccine to someone in need in the developing world for every consult we run. This is known as our Care 4 Care program. Choosing Next Practice means not only helping yourself, but also creating greater health equality through life-saving vaccination.

How do I book?

Booking is simple, and can be done online, over the phone, or via our Next Practice Patient App for existing patients. We look forward to seeing you soon!

IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION

If you have travelled internationally within the last two weeks, been in contact with someone with Coronavirus or is quarantined, or if you are experiencing respiratory conditions (shortness of breath, coughing, severe nasal congestion) or any flu like symptoms particularly a fever, aches and pains or severe headache, please ensure you have spoken to a member of staff prior to presenting for your appointment.

To book your flu vaccination visit our bookings page here.