Protect Your Mob
Influenza (the Flu)
Getting a flu vaccine each year protects you from the flu
Influenza, also known as ‘the flu,’ is a type of viral infection that can cause mild to severe illness in some. The virus spreads from person-to-person by tiny droplets from coughing or sneezing. A flu vaccine is recommended each year and is free for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 years and over.
Even if you are healthy, you can experience lasting health complications from the flu. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a greater risk of getting a severe case of the flu and experiencing further complications, such as having to go to hospital. Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you, it also protects your mob.
Is the flu vaccine free?
The flu vaccine is free and recommended for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over.
When should I get a flu vaccine?
The best time is each year from mid-April onwards. Flu season is usually June to September in most parts of Australia. However, it’s never too late to get your vaccine because the flu can spread all year round.
Where do I get my flu vaccine?
Free flu vaccines are available from your local GP or Aboriginal Medical Service.
Is the flu vaccine safe?
The flu vaccine has been around for a long time and has a good safety record. All flu vaccines used in Australia are ‘inactivated’, which means they don’t contain the live flu virus, so you can’t catch the flu from the vaccine. Some people may get flu-like symptoms such as fever or pain at the injection site. These side effects usually go away in a few days and don’t require special treatment. If you have concerns about a side effect that appears to be getting worse or doesn’t fit the common reactions for the vaccine, seek medical attention from your GP, local AMS or if an emergency, the hospital.
Pneumonia is a type of lung infection that can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi. Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia. The risk of getting pneumococcal pneumonia increases with age and certain chronic conditions including lung disease.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to be admitted to hospital for pneumonia than non-Indigenous Australians. A pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over.
Is the pneumococcal vaccine free?
The pneumococcal vaccine is free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over. It is also free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under the age of 50 who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk of getting pneumonia, including people living with specific types of chronic lung disease.
Do I need a pneumococcal vaccine every year?
A pneumococcal vaccine isn’t required every year. A second dose is available to some people, after a minimum of five years following their first dose. If you haven’t received the pneumococcal vaccine, talk to your GP or local healthcare worker about when you should receive it.
Reduce The Spread This Winter
There are steps you can take to reduce the spread of viruses such as the flu, COVID-19 and even the common cold. Making these easy steps a part of your day-to-day life will help keep you and your mob healthy and safe.
Hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel. It’s important to sneeze into your elbow to keep your hands clean as well.
Keep your distance: If you’re experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms it’s important to stay at home and avoid close contact with other people to prevent getting others sick. The same advice also applies to the opposite – avoid close contact with those who may be sick to keep yourself healthy!
Face masks: Wearing a mask if you’re experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms can help to reduce the spread of bugs and viruses – particularly when it’s difficult to socially distance, such as on public transport and at busy shopping centres.
Lung Health Checklist
About the Artwork
This artwork was created for Lung Foundation Australia by Ngarrindjeri man, Jordan Lovegrove.
The artwork shows Lung Foundation Australia raising awareness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about the need for immunisation to protect against influenza and pneumonia. The inner circle of the central meeting place represents Lung Foundation Australia raising awareness and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Our five strategic pillars are shown by the large people symbols outside the central meeting place. The smaller meeting places and journey lines show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities heading towards a community health centre to get immunised, which is represented by the middle and outer circles.
This artwork was developed by Ngarrindjeri man, Jordan Lovegrove. This immunisation campaign was developed in partnership with Iscariot Media, who are proudly Supply Nation Registered.
This campaign has been partially supported by Sanofi.