It's tempting to think getting a flu shot is less important during the COVID-19 crisis, but experts are urging Australians to be vaccinated against both potentially deadly viruses.
While influenza infections hit historically low levels in 2020 due to the lack of social mingling, the risk of catching contagious respiratory illnesses is on the rise again this year.
The symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar and can include a cough, muscle aches, fever, chills, fatigue, sore throat, a runny or congested nose, fever, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea and shortness of breath. COVID-19 patients have also experienced loss of taste or smell – which is also a rare symptom of flu.
The only way to determine whether you have the flu or COVID-19 is to get tested and isolate as soon as symptoms present themselves.
It’s not too late to get the jab
With the flu season continuing to peak through to September, it is still worth getting vaccinated now, says Brinley Hosking, chief pharmacist at Amcal.
"The most effective defence against the flu is vaccination," she says.
"Our pharmacists are specially trained to administer the flu vaccination. It's the best thing you can do this season to protect yourself and others."
You can book a flu vaccination at your local Amcal pharmacy to receive the flu shot. One of their expertly trained pharmacists will administer the vaccination and answer any cold and flu questions you have in a private consultation space.
Who is eligible for the flu shot?
Anyone over the age of six months can get the flu vaccination, and having your whole family vaccinated is the most effective form of protection from catching it.
You can also help reduce your risk of being struck down through a combination of preventative measures. These include practicing good hygiene, getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of water and nourishing your body with immune-boosting foods.
If you're also eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, you can still get your flu vaccination. In fact, it's perfectly safe to receive both. However, it's recommended that you wait seven days between getting a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine.
Getting a flu shot also means you're helping to protect others, including more vulnerable people for whom flu can lead to serious health complications.
If you would like further advice about the best time to get your flu vaccination, you can book online or speak to your nearest Amcal pharmacist.
Brought to you by Amcal.