Free flu vaccines available
THE North Coast Area Health Service will run a series of free Influenza Vaccination Clinics on the Tweed, providing vaccination with either the 2010 seasonal influenza vaccine or the H1N1 Pandemic influenza.
The 2010 seasonal influenza vaccine provides protection against three strains of the influenza virus likely to circulate this winter while the pandemic influenza vaccine protects only against the pandemic swine flu virus.
Director of North Coast Area Health Service Paul Corben said it was advisable for residents to receive the vaccines.
“We are just starting to see confirmed cases of influenza on the North Coast,” Mr Corben said.
“We encourage people to have the new vaccine.”
Mr Corben said it is not possible to contract the viruses from receiving the vaccine as the injection does not contain live virus.
“There are pockets of resistance to the vaccine in places like Murwillumbah where there is a high level of resistance,” Mr Corben said.
“Receiving the vaccine protects you from the virus and protects the community.”
If residents cannot attend the free clinics they can be vaccinated by their GP or Aboriginal Medical Service.
The pandemic influenza vaccine is free and the seasonal influenza vaccine is free for eligible people.
Seasonal flu vaccine is also available by private prescription.
Globally there have been almost 16,000 deaths associated with pandemic influenza, with 191 deaths in Australia.
Last winter more than 70 people on the North Coast were hospitalised after contracting “swine flu” and two died.
No appointment is required for clinics at Murwillumbah Hospital. For appointments at other clinics call Kingscliff Community Health Centre on 02 66749500.
June 11 – Murwillumbah Hospital
June 18 – Murwillumbah Hospital
June 21 – Banora Point Community Health Centre
June 23 – Kingscliff Community Health Centre
June 24 – Banora Point Community Health
June 25 – Murwillumbah Hospital.