Flu experts say the recent cold weather onslaught is a timely reminder that Melburnians need to take steps now to safeguard against what could become a harsh flu season.
Influenza Specialist Group Chair Dr Alan Hampson said that as winter approaches, it is vital everyone seriously considers being vaccinated, even those who aren’t in the high risk groups or have underlying medical conditions.
“If you don’t bother to get vaccinated, it’s at your own peril. We’ve seen in the last few years that several flu-related deaths have been in people without recognized underlying illnesses.
“People, especially those who are young and healthy think they’re bullet proof but the truth is when it comes to infections, they’re not. They too can become severely ill and the way to prevent this is by getting vaccinated, especially in autumn which is the best time to do this,” he said.
And it seems this week’s cold snap has prompted the city’s university students to take Dr Hampson’s advice and get vaccinated with a mass free vaccination program planned at Graduate House.
Graduate House CEO and Head of College Dr Kerry Bennett said that as more than 600 people stay at Graduate House every year, it was important to offer them free vaccinations to ensure they stayed healthy and their studies weren’t adversely affected by contracting the flu.
“The flu has severe and negative impacts on our staff and students so we wanted to encourage them to be protected this season by offering free vaccinations,” said Dr Bennett.