Flu shots available at chemists

MEMBER for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has welcomed a change to health legislation which now allows North Coast residents to get annual flu shot at chemists.

Residents now have an alternative to booking doctor's appointments to receive the injection, after State Legislation changed to allow trained and accredited pharmacists to administer the influenza vaccine to patients.

Medical centres will continue to administer a Medicare-funded vaccine to eligible patients under the National Immunisation Program, while accredited pharmacies will run private clinics for the ineligible patients.

"The flu season is almost here and no one has an excuse not get their flu jab, given it is now much easier to access," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"By improving accessibility of the vaccine we can vaccinate more patients, reducing the burden on our health care system and doctor surgeries.

"We only have to look to Queensland, where almost 2000 influenza cases have already been reported this Autumn, to see how contagious this illness is.

"If a patient in a vulnerable population group gets the flu there's up to a 12% chance they can end up in ICU and possibly even die from complications such as pneumonia," Mr Hartsuyker said.

Health professionals recommend vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory illness or immune disorders get their flu shot.

Deliveries of the super flu vaccination Quadrivalent, which protects against four strains of flu, has also now arrived at some North Coast pharmacies.

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