Winter is coming, and doctors are urging those most at risk to be prepared by getting immunised.
Last year there were more than 1000 deaths as a result of influenza, 90 per cent of which were the elderly..
In February, the federal government announced two new new flu vaccines free of charge for people over the age of 65.
The two new vaccines – Fluad and Fluzone High Dose – are an Australian first and were specifically created for over 65s as their immune systems respond less effectively to vaccines.
Both vaccines are available through the National Immunisation Program.
Clare Medical Centre’s Doctor Gerard Considine urged the elderly to take advantage of the new vaccines.
“We want people to make sure that if they are in that age bracket that they are getting the trivalent vaccination,” he said.
“The vaccines’ highest effectiveness is about three to four months, which should last the entire flu season; last year we had a bit of a late flu season so if people do not get their flu jabs in the first couple of weeks, there is no big stress.
“If they miss it and do not get it for three or four weeks, there is no major pressure, it just means their coverage might go a bit longer.”
Under the NIP, those eligible for a free flu shot include people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who suffer from chronic conditions.
Despite influenza being at its worst in infants and the elderly, Dr Considine warned those in between not to be complacent.
The vaccines can be administered at the Clare Medical Centre and Tim Siv TerryWhite Chemmart.