The recent COVID-19 outbreak has prompted many patient requests for flu vax this week. We have not yet received any flu vaccinations at Erskineville Doctors and are unable to make appointments for this at the current time. Some private supplies have arrived in some pharmacies – there are a number of private companies making and supplying different brands of flu vax, hence the uneven supply. The government funded vaccines are coming, some have arrived in nursing homes, but not yet to General Practice.
Once we do receive the flu vaccinations (we expect in the next 1-2 weeks), we will be contacting high risk patients first to book them in for an appointment. To do this safely, we will arrange specific times when we can organise to get people in and out with minimum contact time.
We will be prioritising our patients who are at highest risk: those over 65, are immunocompromised or have a chronic health condition, pregnant women and babies as well as our Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander patients.
If you are staying inside and looking after yourself, you are already preventing yourself from getting the flu. Please don’t worry if we can’t get you in immediately. We will be doing our best to reach everyone and will also be running flu clinics as safely as we can: employing social distancing and disinfection.
In past years deliveries of flu vaccines to us have at times lagged significantly behind the timing of our requests. Even if we can’t vaccinate you straight away, our aim is to get as many of our patients vaccinated as we can, as efficiently and safely as we can. We will do our best to get enough supplies to meet the increased demand.
Thank you in advance for your patience. We will be in touch with you with further information once the flu vaccinations arrive. There is no need to call us until that time.
Eligibility for free influenza vaccine
Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza:
- people aged 65 years and over (vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).
- pregnant women
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age
- all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions, namely:
- cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
- chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
- other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
- chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
- impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
- children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy