There is still time to get your flu shot

While the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness has already administered 100 024 of 120 000 (83.4%) influenza vaccine doses provincially, the good news is that residents can still safely receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines together – at the same time – for free, at our primary healthcare facilities (clinics and day hospitals) and other vaccination sites.

Percentage influenza vaccine utilised per district, as of 21 July 2022:

Cape Town Metro – 76.2%
Cape Winelands – 98.1%
Central Karoo – 82.9%
Garden Route – 98.4%
Overberg – 79.4%
West Coast – 98.9%

Flu, like COVID-19, can be spread by infecting others before symptoms arise and the best way to protect yourself and others is to get vaccinated. Everyone is susceptible to flu, no matter your age, health or lifestyle. It is especially important that some age groups and people with underlying medical conditions, who are more likely to suffer more severe complications, get vaccinated. These include young children, people aged 65 years and older, pregnant women, people with chronic lung and heart disease, and those with asthma and diabetes.

The flu vaccine has a proven safety record and usually only cause very mild reactions, such as soreness at the injection site, mild fever, or headache. They may last for a few hours and are easily treated with paracetamol or similar medications.

“As we have entered the final stretch of the annual influenza vaccination programme, we remind residents that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine. According to the departments’ influenza utilisation data, the Cape Town Metro and Overberg District, have remaining vaccine stock that can be offered to eligible residents. Please make sure to enquire about the flu vaccine at any of our public health facilities,” said Charlene Lawrence, Deputy Director of Communicable Diseases Control, Directorate: Service Priorities Coordination, at the department.

Decreasing rates of flu in our province will relieve significant pressure on a healthcare system already stretched by other priorities. It remains important for us to receive the flu vaccine every year because it has proved to be safe and effective for both children and adults, and that serious side effects are rare.


 

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