HEALTH TIPS: Seniors fit for flu fight
MANY older Australians are getting their flu vaccinations, as the colder weather approaches.
National Seniors Nanango branch president John Weber said it was very important for the elderly to get their vaccinations.
"Once you get older and get the flu, it can take its toll on you, it can put you in the hospital,” he said.
"It can cause people to lose their lives, so its important to get the flu shots.”
Chief medical officer Dr Anthony Hobbs announced the Australian Government had secured an additional 800,000 influenza vaccines for Australians under the National Immunisation Program, on May 26.
This increase of 26.5 per cent from last year's program came after vaccine shortages were reported in Victoria, NSW and ACT.
With seniors being one of the high-risk groups during flu season, about 94 per cent of the Kingaroy Orana aged care residents were vaccinated through their GPs.
Resident Ollie Schaffer said with international travel bringing the world's populations together it was important for seniors and the very young to get their annual flu injections.
"It appears that a new strain of the flu raises its angry head each year, so be wise and front up before its too late this season,” she said.
Monash University professor Allen Cheng wrote in The Conversation, of the 1100 Australians who died from flu-related causes last year, 90 per cent were aged 65 or older.
"While influenza affects people of all ages, infections among the elderly are more likely to require hospitalisation or cause serious complications such as pneumonia and heart attacks,” he said.
The disease specialist said the government funded two new, free flu vaccines to try to better protect the elderly.
The vaccines for over-65s work in different ways, FluZone High Dose is a high-dose version, and Fluad adds an additional ingredient to the general vaccine to boost its effectiveness, Prof Cheng said.
Mr Weber said it was very important for older Australians to go and see their doctor to get their injection.
"It's the only way to go, particularly if you're over 65, you can get it for free, and its good the government is providing something for senior people,” he said.
Read Orana residents' tips for fighting cold and flu in the gallery below.