It's expected that more than two million free vaccinations will be given out across Victoria before the flu season gets underway.
11,612 cases of influenza were recorded last year, but flu diagnoses in 2019 are currently triple what they were compared with the same time last year. 34 cases have been recorded in Warrnambool alone.
Victorians can get their flu shot at a participating pharmacy without the need to visit a doctor. The Government has also established 20 Supercare Pharmacies, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Victorians with a chronic condition are also eligible for a free flu vaccination as part of the National Immunisation Program. Victorians over the age of 65 are also covered.
Mikakos says protecting Victorians this flu season is vital.
“We’re making the flu shot free for kids under five, because vaccination is safe, effective and it saves lives.”
“You never forget the flu, so don’t forget your flu shot. Coming down with the flu is not like catching a cold. It hits you quickly and hard, and it can last for weeks. And for some people, it can be deadly.”
Flu symptoms can include a sudden high fever, headache, body aches and feeling extremely weak or tired. For children, the elderly or people with a weakened immune system, the flu can have devastating outcomes.