Should You Get the Flu Vaccination This Year?

Written by | 26 Apr 2018

A tickle, a sneeze, an ache, a sniffle or a cough – this time of year it often leads to the same thing; the Flu. With a particularly severe 2017 Flu season behind us, many people are considering getting the flu vaccination, and with good reason.

With 745 deaths in 2017 directly from the Flu, it is a serious illness that can have devastating effects. For the many thousands more affected who do recover, the lost days of work, family time and rest take their toll, often with many weeks of downtime needed to get completely back on track.

Why Does the Flu Season Occur?

Each year, the influenza virus mutates its various strains to become often more virulent than before. If you were affected the previous year, you will not necessarily be immune from its effects, as is often the case with other illnesses. It can therefore be extremely difficult to predict who it will affect, how and when.

The reason Flu strikes mostly in the winter months is because this is when people spend more time indoors in closer proximity to each other, allowing the viruses to spread more easily.

Flu Vaccination Facts

Does The Flu Vaccination Work?

Getting a Flu vaccination will protect you against several strains of Flu. However it is true that it cannot protect you against all types of Flu as the virus quickly mutates. Despite this, getting vaccinated can help reduce the severity and/or duration of the disease and prevent further complications, such as pneumonia, from occurring.

Influenza – The Numbers

St John Ambulance Victoria has recently commissioned some research to understand what people think of the Flu and Flu vaccinations. With 85% of people reporting they had experienced some type of cold or Flu symptom in the past 12 months, the effects are extremely widespread. But with 61% of Victorian workers reporting they would be more likely to get a Flu vaccination if it was offered by their employer, it is clear the public is increasingly understanding the importance of protecting themselves and in effect the wider community from the potentially lethal effects of the Flu.

What Should You Do to Protect Yourself from the Flu?

Thankfully, there are a number of measures you can take to avoid being struck down by the flu:

Getting vaccinated against the Flu is the most effective of all these methods. It is affordable and often free in either of the following situations:

  • Children aged 6 months to 5 years of age
  • Those over 65 years of age
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons aged 6 months to less than 5 years or those over 15 years
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy).
  • All Victorians aged over 6 months who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza complications; for example, severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes
  • If your employer provides it to you free of charge in the workplace

For workplaces, St John Ambulance Victoria currently offers Flu vaccinations for staff via their employers. It is simple to book, employees can be scheduled online, a Nurse Immuniser comes to the workplace to provide the Flu vaccination in a private setting, and all participating staff receive a small gift.

To enquire for your workplace please visit https://www.stjohnvic.com.au/flu/

  • Jodie

    The statistics poster appears to be confused about the percentage of Victorians who have taken 2 or more days off work due to cold and flu symptoms in the past 12 months…. 29% AND 45%?

    • stjohnvic

      Thanks for pointing it out Jodie, we’ve corrected it. That should have said that nearly half (45 per cent) of workers reported being less productive at work due to cold and flu symptoms