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Winter is coming – stay safe and get vaccinated

16 May 2022


With winter well on its way and both flu and COVID-19 circulating the community, it’s not too late to protect yourself from serious illness.

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Director of Public Health, Dr Victor Carey says it is important to protect yourself and your community by getting your flu shot and staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations.

“With international borders reopening, increased social mixing and lower exposure to flu over the past two years, more people of all ages will be at risk of getting flu this year than in the past two years,” says Victor.

“In particular, we’re concerned for young children aged two and under. Due to the COVID pandemic children these ages have never lived through a flu season or gained immunity to the virus. We highly recommend an influenza vaccination to help protect them from the flu this year.”

Some people are eligible to receive a free flu vaccination as they may be more vulnerable to severe illness from the flu:

  • children from 6 months to under 5 years of age
  • people with serious health conditions (including severe asthma, diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, obesity, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease)
  • pregnant women
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months of age
  • people who are 65 years of age and over.

Dr Carey recommends we all take some simple precautions to help protect one another:

  • If you are sick, stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
  • 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.

Everyone aged 6 months and older is recommended to receive the flu vaccine. Vaccinations are available through GPs for everyone aged six months and over. Vaccinations are also available through pharmacies for everyone aged 10 and over.

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