CAPE York residents are urged to take advantage of the free flu vaccination program that’s available in Queensland until the end of the month.
Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service public health medical officer Dr Allison Hempenstall said 761 laboratory-confirmed cases had been recorded so far this year across the region.
“We’ve also had 54 people hospitalised with flu to date across our region,” she said.
“Being vaccinated every year is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. With the seasonal flu vaccine now readily available, everyone should take the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“It’s a safe vaccine for children and is offered annually to everyone older than six months of age.”
Dr Hempenstall said the vaccine was free every year for people who were most at risk.
“However, this year, the state government has extended the free flu vaccination program to all Queenslanders from July 22 to August 31 at GPs and pharmacies across the state,’’ DrHempenstall said.
“The free vaccines also are available through all primary health centres in the Torres Strait, Cape York, and Northern Peninsula Area, as well as the hospitals at Thursday Island, Bamaga, Weipa and Cooktown.
“I encourage everyone to take advantage of this free program.
“But as well as vaccination, good hygiene also is very important in preventing flu, just as it was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The best way to prevent the spread of flu is to wash your hands, cover your coughs, put tissues straight in the bin and stay away from other people if you or they are sick.”
Dr Hempenstall said the flu could be a serious illness, especially for high-risk people like young children, old people, pregnant women, and people with some illnesses – like breathing problems or diabetes.
“While healthy adults usually recover quite well, influenza infection can lead to other medical complications such as pneumonia,’’ she said.