Flu season 2015
The Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program has begun

The seasonal influenza vaccine used under the National Immunisation Program is a trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) which contains three virus strains. Two out of the three strains in the 2015 vaccine will differ from those in the 2014 Southern and Northern Hemisphere vaccines.

A quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) is also available through the private market. 

Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended for all individuals who are at risk of influenza complications, including pregnant women. There is no preference for any brand of influenza vaccine under the NIP for individuals 10 years of age or over with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza – all are considered acceptable for use. 

Children aged six months to less than nine years require a vaccine brand which is approved for this age group. They should receive two doses of influenza vaccine in the first year and one dose in subsequent years. The second dose should be administered even if it is late in the influenza season, as it primes the immune system for later years.

While two doses in the first year is recommended, one dose does provide some protection and is preferable than no doses. If a child aged six months to nine years inadvertently does not receive the second dose within the same year, the child should have two doses administered the following year.

Your doctor will advise you regarding approved vaccines for this age group.

Further information is available from immunise.health.gov.au.

People eligible for free influenza vaccine
Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), the following people are eligible to receive free influenza vaccine:

  • Pregnant women.
  • People aged 65 years and over.
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged:
      – Six months to less than five years (this is a new eligible group in 2015).
      – 15 years and over.
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza, namely:
    – Cardiac disease
    – Chronic respiratory conditions
    – Chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function
    – Immunocompromising conditions,
    – Diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
    – Renal disease.
    – Haematological disorders
    – Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.

Further information is available from immunise.health.gov.au.

Whooping Cough Vaccine
SA Health is currently funding the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine for pregnant women in their third trimester, pending a decision by the Commonwealth  to include the vaccine for this group in the National  Immunisation Program.

The  recommended  period to receive the vaccine is between 28-32 weeks of pregnancy to enable the development and transfer of maternal antibodies , but it can be given anytime in the third trimester.

Adult family members who will be in close contact with the baby may also need a booster dose, ideally before the baby arrives. Your doctor will be happy to discuss this with you

Meningococcal B Vaccine
Meningococcal B is a serious and often fatal infection spread through infected droplets in the air.

Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, irritability and drowsiness.

A new vaccine is now available and can be administered to both children and adults.

Speak with us today if you would like to learn more.

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Manage your heart and stroke risk
Most heart attacks and strokes are preventable.

To manage your risk:

  1. See your doctor to find out your personal heart and stroke risk score.
  2. Follow your doctor’s advice and make changes to your lifestyle.
  3. Have a health action plan and follow it.

Which lifestyle changes will reduce my risk?

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  • Be active every day.
    • Stop smoking and avoid second hand smoke.
  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, lean meats, oily fish, eggs and low fat dairy products. Remember to also eat nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • Limit fried and baked foods.
  • Limit alcohol to less than two standard drinks per day.
  • Limit sugar and salt intake.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Drink water.

How to have a healthy bladder

If you have bladder control problems, you are not alone. Over 3.8 million Australians, both men and women of all ages, have bladder control problems. If you do nothing, it wont go away.

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Bladder control problems can be managed and treated.
Help is available. You can gain control. Here’s how:

1 Eat well
2 Drink well
3 Exercise regularly
4 Tone up your pelvic floor muscles.
5 Practice good toilet habits (don’t go just in case).
6 Talk with your doctor or nurse about your symptoms.

Nocturia

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Nocturia is when a person has to wake up at night to pass urine. If this happens more than twice a night, it can be a problem.

Nocturia is common in older people. It can cause problems in day-to-day life. It can upset your sleep and put you at risk of falls, and make you drowsy during the day.

Drinking less is not the answer. Talk with your doctor if this is a problem for you. Nocturia can be treated.

Couch potato

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Are you a couch potato? Work long hours at a desk or in a car?
You are at greater risk of developing cancer.
Being active and limiting the time spent sitting and inactive may play an important role in preventing cancer.