Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and close contact.
Unlike a cold, symptoms such as fever, sore throat and muscle aches develop suddenly with flu and last about a week. In some cases, severe illness and complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis can develop, which can result in hospitalisation and even death. The flu can also make some existing medical conditions worse.
The flu virus can be especially dangerous for elderly people, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and very young children, as well as for people with underlying medical conditions.
More information can be found at Immunise Australia Program here.
From 1 November 2016, the shingles vaccine, Zostavax will be available on the National Immunisation Program (NIP). The vaccine will be available free for people aged 70 years. Click here for more information.
The Australian Government Department of Health have introduced changes for those people receiving Child Care Benefits, Child Care Rebates or the Family Tax Benefit Part A. For more information, click here.