Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting children and our community against certain diseases. The risks of these diseases are far greater than the very small risks involved in immunisation.
It’s estimated that vaccination currently saves approximately three million lives each year worldwide.
Immunisations for others. As we get older, our immune systems become slightly less effective at protecting us from disease. This means that we become more prone to catching infections, and once we catch an infection we can take longer to recover. Also, we may lose some of our immunity to diseases we were vaccinated against in childhood. Some infectious diseases, such as the flu, can make us much sicker than they used to when we were younger, and can even lead to life-threatening complications.
The best way of protecting yourself from serious infections is to be vaccinated against them. Three common but potentially dangerous diseases that older people should be vaccinated against are influenza, pneumococcal disease and shingles (herpes zoster). Booster vaccinations against tetanus and diphtheria are also recommended for older people.
Influenza, or the flu, is a virus infection that causes fever, tiredness, muscle aches, headache and cough. The flu generally makes you feel much worse than the common cold does, and can also lead to more serious health problems. Because older people are particularly susceptible to complications from the flu, such as pneumonia , and even death, vaccination against influenza is recommended for all Australians aged 65 and over, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over. (Indigenous Australians should be vaccinated from a younger age because their risk of pneumonia and death is much higher than that of other Australians.) Free influenza vaccine is available for these groups of Australians at Old Bar Medical Centre.
Pneumonia is the most common form of serious pneumococcal disease in adults. It usually needs to be treated in hospital and can be life-threatening. Pneumococcal vaccination is available for free for all Australians aged 65 years and over. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are eligible for free vaccinations from the age of 50, because Indigenous Australians are more at risk than non-Indigenous Australians.
Shingles or Herpes Zoster is a painful blistering rash caused by the chickenpox virus. Some people, particularly older people, may develop complications of shingles. For example, pain may last long after the rash heals, or the rash may spread to the eye or other parts of the body.
Vaccination against zoster is recommended for adults aged 70 and over. Ask your Doctor or nurse at Old Bar Medical Centre about this Vaccination.
Tetanus . Most people know that you can develop tetanus if you have a wound that is deep or contaminated with soil (where tetanus bacteria may be found), but tetanus infection can also follow an injury that seems trivial or is not even noticed.
Fortunately, tetanus is easily preventable by vaccination, and tetanus vaccination is recommended for babies and children. All adults are now recommended to have a tetanus booster at age 50 unless you have had a booster in the previous 10 years.
All childhood immunisations are Bulk Billed
Whatever your age or destination, proper preparation before you leave is essential and staying in good health while travelling can help you to have a happy and enjoyable trip.
Infectious diseases that cause some of the overseas illnesses are often preventable through vaccinations. It’s important that you discuss your personal travel plans with a health professional to ensure you have the correct vaccinations for your trip and any booster doses of childhood vaccinations you may need.
Health risks within a country can vary from one region to another and additionally vaccines are also an entry requirement of some countries. We recommend you seek medical advice from your doctor and have any vaccinations required at least eight weeks before you depart. Please be aware some vaccines require a long period to take effect and more than one dose may be needed.
Animals are well known for being carriers of a range of infections and diseases which can pass to humans. Rabies is common in most parts of the world. It is commonly carried by dogs, cats, bats and monkeys. Although Rabies in humans is rare, it can be transmitted to you through a bite or scratch from an infected animal.
In some countries, mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever and Japanese Encephalitis which are preventable with vaccines.
However not all mosquito-borne diseases are vaccine-preventable such as the Zika Virus and Dengue Fever. Therefore you need to take other precautions when travelling in these areas.
Most mosquitoes bite from dusk to dawn, but can bite at any time of the day!
Here are some tips to help you avoid animal bites and prevent or reduce the risks of getting bitten by insects while you’re travelling
Use insect repellent: Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent . When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. DEET.
Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Keep mosquitoes outside: Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net and fan.
Protect yourself when traveling: Learn about country-specific travel advice, health risks, and how to stay safe by visiting CDC Travelers' Health website.
To get travel information and prescriptions for travel vaccines make an appointment with your Doctor at Old Bar Medical Centre on 65537600. Make an appointment with one of our nurses for the injections needed. Your appointment will be Bulk Billed. Always check with a pharmacy as to the cost of vaccines , it is important to consider this in your travel budget.