Get flu jab after sick cases soar

PREGNANT women, young children and the elderly will be a major focus of this year’s Winter Flu Campaign, but everyone is reminded to get their flu jab.

There have already been more than 9,600 confirmed influenza cases in NSW this year, with hospitalisation rates for influenza the highest in young children with recent national figures showing about 100 per 100,000 in those aged six to 23 months.

South Western Sydney Local Health District Public Health Director Dr Naru Pal said he couldn’t stress enough the importance of the vaccine to the community.  

“While we might all take flu for granted as a common winter disease, it can be deadly,” Dr Pal said.  

“In 2017, we had a significant flu season where more than 650 people died across the state.  

“We cannot afford to be complacent.”

The NSW Government has invested about $130 million in the 2018-19 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

Free flu vaccines for children aged from six months to under five years of age, are being provided under the NSW Government’s $2.6 million program.

In addition to booking a flu shot, people are reminded that to help reduce the spread of flu, sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands regularly and stay home if sick.