It’s not too late to vaccinate against the flu 24 October 2023 As we head further into spring, Australians are being warned not to be complacent about their health with the latest data revealing a lingering influenza (flu) season coupled with an increase in respiratory viruses. If you have not had a flu vaccination yet this year, it is a good time to visit your GP or pharmacist to get a shot. While the period of peak influenza circulation is typically June to September in most parts of Australia, influenza can spread all year round. And there is often an uptick in late spring. This year, as covid social distancing measures and precautions have lapsed, there looks to be a resurgence of respiratory illnesses such as flu, RSV, and HMPV. If you had your flu vaccination from mid-April onwards this year you will likely still have immunity, but if you are concerned it is a good idea to talk with your GP. Why should you get a flu vaccine? People living with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing serious complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections, from a bout of the flu as diabetes can impair your immune system. Statistics show that when you have diabetes, you are three times more likely to be hospitalised from the flu and its complications than other people. An illness such as flu can also affect your blood glucose levels and diabetes management. Although illnesses such as the flu generally tend to raise blood glucose levels, sometimes you may become so unwell that you don’t feel like eating and a reduced appetite can cause blood glucose levels to fall. It is important to follow the sick day guidelines if you become ill. Sick day guidelines Factsheet for people with type 1 diabetes Factsheet for people with type 2 diabetes What are the symptoms of flu? The symptoms of flu may include a fever, dry or chesty cough, headache, tiredness, chills, aching muscles, limb or joint pain, diarrhoea or upset stomach, sore throat, runny or blocked nose, sneezing and a loss of appetite. The influenza vaccine is free The influenza vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program for: People aged six months or over who have medical condition, including diabetes. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and over Children aged six months to under five years Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy People aged 65 years or over.