Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) is encouraging people to get their flu shot as soon as possible to reduce their risk of contracting the seasonal flu this winter, and advise that flu vaccines are now available from general practices and pharmacies.
Wagga Wagga GP Jodi Culbert said it was important for all members of the community to get their flu shot this year.
"Although the flu vaccine won't protect people from the COVID-19 virus, it will help reduce the chance of contracting the seasonal flu which may weaken a person's immune system, and reduce the pressure on health resources," Dr Culbert said.
"Vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and we encourage people to get vaccinated - even if they're fit and healthy. The more people that get vaccinated the more protection there is for everyone."
Although the flu vaccine won't protect people from the COVID-19 virus, it will help reduce the chance of contracting the seasonal fluWagga Wagga GP Jodi Culbert
Children aged six months to less than five years, people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, Aboriginal people aged 6 months and over and those with high-risk medical conditions aged 6 months and over are eligible to be vaccinated for free by GPs. People are encouraged to contact their local GP to make an appointment first.
Dr Culbert said there were other hygiene practices that would also contribute to limiting the spread of the flu.
"People need to wash their hands correctly, cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, dispose of their tissues into a bin, and stay at home if they are unwell," she said.
"Older people and those who are very young, pregnant or experience chronic health are especially vulnerable during the winter months and at higher risk of developing complications from the flu, which is why following good hygiene practices is so important."
This year's flu vaccination will be available in most towns in the coming weeks, and for the first time NSW pharmacies will be providing the flu shot for individuals above the age of 10.