Protect yourself against influenza this winterJun 08, 2022
The North Coast Public Health Unit is encouraging all people aged six months and
older to get their influenza vaccine and take a few simple steps to avoid serious illness
from the virus this winter.
Across the Mid North Coast Local Health District, influenza is circulating widely in the
community for the first time in two years, after significantly lower cases during the
height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the NSW Government is funding free
flu vaccinations at GPs and pharmacies until June 30.
Director North Coast Public Health Unit Dr Paul Douglas said it was important to get
“This is particularly important for those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and
children aged six months to five years,” he said.
“Now is the time to book in for a flu jab and COVID-19 winter booster if you are eligible,
as both flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.”
There have been 318 influenza cases recorded to 4 June this year in the Mid North
Coast Local Health District, with 109 of those reported in the last week – a doubling of
cases from two weeks earlier. As many people who get the flu do not get tested for it,
there are likely to be many more people with flu in the community right now.
“This is considerably higher compared with the recent years prior to the pandemic,
when on average 118 influenza cases were recorded from 1 January to 4 June
between 2015 and 2019,” Dr Douglas added.
A free flu jab is available to all NSW residents in a month-long blitz until 30 June in an
effort to combat this year’s expected severe influenza season.
Other protective measures individuals can take include staying at home and getting a
COVID-19 test if you have symptoms.
Little things like regularly washing your hands and wearing a mask if you can’t distance
from other people when indoors can help prevent both flu and COVID-19.