1. Why should I get the flu vaccine?
Influenza kills around 3,000 people in Australia each year. We have many patients who bring influenza into Monash Health putting our employees and other vulnerable patients at risk.
2. Can I get the flu from the flu vaccine?
No, the vaccine does not contain any live viruses and cannot give you the flu.
3. Do I need to get the flu vaccine every year?
Yes, flu viruses are constantly changing. A person’s immune protection from the vaccine declines over time. Annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection.
4. Are there any side effects to the flu vaccine?
The most common side effects of flu vaccines are mild and may include soreness or redness at the injection site, aches and mild fever.
5. Could I still get the flu even though I’ve had the flu vaccine?
Yes, you may have been exposed to a flu virus before or after you got vaccinated. It takes about two weeks after you receive the vaccine for your body to build protection against the flu.
6. Is the flu vaccine safe for older people?
Yes, the flu vaccine is especially important for older people and anyone with weakened immunity or chronic medical conditions. Research shows that the flu vaccine can even protect against heart attacks.
7. Is the flu vaccine safe for pregnant women?
Yes. In fact, following birth, mothers who got the flu vaccine while pregnant have provided their babies with a bit of extra protection against the flu and other acute respiratory infections.
8. Isn’t the flu just a serious form of common cold?
No, influenza can cause serious illness and in some cases leads to hospitalisation and death. Unlike the common cold, it may take several weeks to fully recover from the flu.
9. I’m healthy, do I still need the flu vaccine?
Even healthy people need a flu vaccine. The flu is a serious illness and anyone can become sick with the flu and experience serious complications.
10. How easily can the flu virus spread?
Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, you can still spread the virus to others.
11. Could I still get the flu even though I’ve had the flu vaccine?
Yes, influenza is unpredictable and sometimes a flu strain which is not covered in the vaccine can emerge during the flu season and you may have been exposed to it.
12. Is it better for my body to build its own natural immunity against the flu?
The virus that causes the flu changes from year to year, so any protection your body develops during one flu season is usually gone by the next. This is why you need a fresh flu vaccination each year.
13. Will making a new vaccine each year make influenza strains stronger?
There is no evidence to suggest that current vaccines can create more dangerous variants of a flu strain.
14. How contagious is the flu virus?
Many people don’t realise influenza can survive for more than an hour in the air indoors, more than eight hours on hard surfaces and up to 15 minutes from tissues to hands.
For more information on where to get your vaccination, the schedule is available on the intranet.
It is your responsibility to ensure you are vaccinated or have completed the declaration form by Friday August 2.
100% completion by all Monash Health employees is mandatory.