STATE Member for Franklin David O’Byrne has acted to help lift flu immunisation rates by getting his flu vaccination administered by a local community pharmacist.
A recent Pharmacy Guild study showed 50 per cent of Australians were not planning to be immunised this year, while only 43 per cent were aware they needed a flu shot every year to achieve maximum protection against the disease.
Mr O’Byrne received his flu vaccination at the TerryWhite Chemmart Pharmacy in Lindisfarne, highlighting just how easy it is to access the important health service through community pharmacies.
“It’s important to get a flu shot to protect ourselves, those around us at work and in community groups, but also the most vulnerable such as older Tasmanians and young children,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“The advice from the public health experts is clear – get yourself a flu shot and get it done as soon as possible.”
Pharmacy owner Anna Faye said having Mr O’Byrne as a flu vaccination customer sent an important message to the community, particularly given the recent survey results of about only half of Australians planning to have a flu shot this year.
“This demonstrates the ease of access to vaccinations through pharmacies, making it that much simpler for anyone to get their flu shot,” she said.
“Our customers can just come to our pharmacy and organise their protection against this year’s flu strain.
“It is so much easier and more convenient than having to go to the doctor, getting a prescription, taking it to the pharmacy to be dispensed, and then returning to the doctor to get the injection.
“Now people are able to come into our pharmacy and in a very short time get their vaccination and be protected against this disease.
“Last year we saw about 250,000 people being infected with the flu and around 18,000 Australians are hospitalised due to the flu each year, with 3000 dying.
“Also, the community needs to remember that when they protect themselves they also help to protect the community by stopping the spread of the virus.”
Ms Faye said in the time that community pharmacists had been administering the vaccine, there had been a high percentage of people being vaccinated for the first time.
“In the past they have not been able to take the time of having a vaccination done through a GP,” she said.
Ms Faye stressed that pharmacists giving the shot had to undergo special training.
“This ensures we have the knowledge and skills to both deliver the vaccine safely and effectively, as well as being able to identify and treat any possible side effects,” she said.
Caption: State Member for Franklin David O’Byrne highlights how easy it is to get vaccinated against the flu.