Our flu program includes a full Winter Defence consult with one of our qualified health professionals. This includes information, support and advice on how to best keep yourself and your family healthy this winter.
Note: not available at every pharmacy – please book an appointment via the link above, or contact your nearest pharmacy to ensure availability.
Three things you might not know about the flu vaccination:
- There is no live virus in the flu vaccine, so you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine
- The composition of the vaccine changes every year to combat the constantly-mutating flu virus. This year we are offering the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four of the most common strains.
- The flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women at all stages of their pregnancy
Is it the Flu or a Cold?
We often call up our workplace or family complaining that we’ve ‘got the flu’. But is it really the flu, or just a common cold?
The two are more different than you might think. Compare your symptoms with this handy guide.
Flu Vaccination FAQ’s
What will happen during my flu vaccination appointment?
During your appointment, a trained pharmacist or nurse provider will administer a flu vaccination. No prior prescription will be required, and appointments take only minutes.
You will be asked to complete a consent form and you may be asked some questions about your existing health and any previous reactions you may have had.
How long will it take?
Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your appointment and be aware you will need to remain in store for a further 15 minute observation period in the unlikely event of an adverse reaction.
Please note: Age restrictions apply and vary according to state – please confirm with your local store the minimum age we can vaccinate.
What can I expect after having the flu vaccination?
- You may feel sore, hot, itchy or red around the area where you have been injected.
- A small lump or bruise may develop at the injection site. This can last up to 14 days.
- Occasional side effects may include flu-like symptoms, soreness of joints, muscle tenderness and general weakness.
- You should contact a doctor if you feel unwell, itchy all over, faint or short of breath after your vaccination.
What is the flu?
Influenza is a viral infection, caused by influenza virus types A, B or C. The virus is transmitted by virus-containing aerosols produced by coughing, sneezing or by direct contact with respiratory secretions.
Immunisations should especially be considered for those in more high-risk groups.
Am I in a high-risk category to get the flu?
High-risk categories for the flu include:
- Young children
- The older demographic due to generally weaker immune systems
- Women who are pregnant
- People who have chronic medical conditions (asthma, heart disease, and more)
Additionally, if you work closely with anyone in the above high-risk categories, it is strongly recommended you get vaccinated as well.
Is the flu vaccination worth it?
Absolutely! Getting a flu vaccination is the best way you can avoid getting sick from it.
Why do I need to get vaccinated against the flu every year?
There are two main reasons for getting the flu vaccination annually:
- As the virus is constantly changing, getting vaccinated from the flu every year means you’re best protected against the most recent and common circulating strains.
- A person’s immune protection from influenza vaccination declines over time and annual vaccination is recommended.
What’s the difference between Trivalent and Quadrivalent vaccines?
Trivalent vaccines include two A strains and one B strain. Quadrivalent vaccines include two A strains and two B strains, providing you with the best protection against the flu this winter.
Who should have the flu vaccination?
Almost everyone can benefit from having the flu vaccination. Even if you’re fit and healthy you could pass the virus on to someone who is at risk of becoming very sick if they catch the flu. If you care for children, older parents, or any other high-risk person, then you should consider getting the flu vaccination
Who shouldn’t have the flu vaccination?
Children younger than 6 months of age, people with severe or life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or ingredients in the flu vaccine including gelatin, antibiotics or egg.
Can you get influenza from a flu vaccine?
Influenza vaccines will not give you the flu as the vaccines available in Australia do not contain the ‘live’ virus. After vaccination, the person will develop antibody levels that are likely to protect them
against the strains of virus represented in the vaccine.
As the influenza virus is ever mutating and changing, in some cases the influenza vaccination may not prevent a person contracting the virus. However, it can help to reduce the severity and/or duration of the virus.
Are there possible side effects of the flu vaccination?
Although there is strict testing in place for flu vaccinations in Australia, they may cause one or more side effects. These can include:
- Aches in muscles
- Temperature change
- Pain or swelling where the injection was given
- A small, hard lump where the injection was given (can last 1-2 weeks)
If you’re concerned about the persistence or severity of the side effects that you or your loved one is experiencing, please either see your GP or visit your nearest hospital immediately.
Is the flu vaccination safe?
Yes. All flu vaccines currently available in Australia are safe to use in adults. In Australia, the flu vaccine (and all other vaccines, in fact) must pass stringent safety testing before being approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
When do I need to see a doctor?
- If you have an underlying condition such as asthma, shortness of breath, or if you fall under the high-risk category, you should see your doctor immediately when flu symptoms appear as you may need an antiviral prescription.
- Any sign of infection i.e. sinus pain around the face when bending down.
When should I go to a hospital?
Call an ambulance if you experience any of the below:
- Trouble breathing, or breathing is painful
- Inability to keep fluids down
- Blood in phlegm
- Inability to think clearly or speech is slurred
- Weakness which results in an inability to sit or stand
- Dehydration or limpness
Keep a regular check on babies and toddlers’ nappies. If the child has not taken fluids, appears limp, head is sunken, or has not had a wet nappy for a long period, they should be taken to hospital as they may be experiencing dehydration.
When is the best time to get vaccinated?
Vaccination is best undertaken in autumn (March – May) in anticipation of Australia’s peak flu season which usually occurs between June and September.
How much does the vaccine cost?
Getting your flu vaccination at TerryWhite Chemmart can be both cheaper and faster than a visit to your GP. The total cost to receive the vaccination from one of our qualified health professionals is $19.95.
I have a flu vaccination voucher, what should I do with this?
To redeem your voucher for a free flu vaccination, you should bring your voucher with you on your next trip to your local TerryWhite Chemmart, ensuring you also have photo identification. Be sure to check out our other FAQs (above) to confirm you’re eligible to be vaccinated against the flu.
»Flu vaccinations can only be provided to customers aged over 18 years old (16 years old in South Australia). For vaccinations for younger customers and children, please see your GP. Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your appointment and be aware you will need to remain in store for a further 15 minute observation period. Some customers may be eligible for the free flu vaccination – please speak to your pharmacist or GP to see if you are eligible. Important: Some people may not be eligible for the flu vaccination. Please speak with one of our pharmacists to confirm if you are eligible. Service fees apply. Available at participating pharmacies. Although we strongly recommend the influenza vaccination in pregnancy, pharmacies in the ACT cannot immunise pregnant women in the current flu season.
General advice only – this information should not replace the information provided to you by your health care professional. If symptoms are severe or persist, please speak to your health care professional. Information current as of date of publishing.
Always check with your pharmacist or medical professional before starting any new medications or supplements, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, are taking any medications currently, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or researching therapies suitable for infants or children.