Forbes pharmacies are part of the NSW Government's free influenza vaccine program this month - and they're urging people to book their shots.
Pharmacist and managing owner Sarah Hazell said both Flannery's and Life Pharmacy are participating, with bookings online through https://nswfreevax.com.au/
"You may have heard on the news that cases of influenza in Australia are much higher this year than in recent years, so, we are encouraging everyone to be vaccinated against the flu this year," she said.
"For the first time the NSW government is providing the vaccine for free to everyone."
Go online and enter Forbes as your location, then choose the time or date that suits you to book through Flannery's or Life pharmacy.
The NSW Government announcement was made last Monday in response to a sharp increase in flu cases and is valid to the end of June.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said there were 1,140 cases of respiratory illness notified this week, compared with 766 in the previous week and 150 presentations and admissions to hospitals.
NSW Health data shows 520 notifications of influenza in the Western NSW Local Health District since the start of May, the majority of those Influenza A.
"We strongly urge everyone over six months of age to get a flu shot as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones, as the virus is easily spread and potentially deadly," Dr Chant said.
"This is particularly important for those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and children aged six months to five years.
"If you live in an aged or disability care facility, are aged over 65 or are immunocompromised, now is the time to book in.
"We also recommend a COVID-19 winter booster if you are eligible, as both flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time."
NSW Health has also permitted pharmacies to administer flu vaccines to children aged five years old, reduced from 10 years, making it easier for families to be vaccinated together.
GPs will be reimbursed for any flu stock they have already purchased that is used in the month of June for this vaccination program.
The Commonwealth Government already provides free flu vaccine for those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from the flu, including:
Speak to your General Practitioner (GP), pharmacist or Aboriginal Medical Service about getting your flu vaccine as soon as possible.
Other protective measures individuals can take, which we're all well familiar with after the past two years - include staying at home if you're sick and washing your hands.
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