MP urges residents to get flu shot amid COVID vax rollout
A Central Queensland MP is urging residents to still get their annual flu shots, even with the COVID vaccine being administered across the region.
Labor's Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga got her influenza vaccine at Priceline, Parkhurst on April 7, and is reminding people that it is a separate vaccine to the COVID jab.
"Pretty much everyone should be vaccinated for the flu jab," Ms Lauga said, with some exceptions.
"The flu jab definitely doesn't protect you against COVID, and the COVID vaccine definitely doesn't protect you against influenza either."
Although it's still important to get vaccinated against influenza, the rate of sickness has dropped during COVID due to social distancing measures.
"It's quite amazing how all the changes in our lives... has actually resulted in lower rates of influenza in the community," she said.
"That's as a result of people wearing masks, sanitising, being hygienic, and also going to the doctor when they're sick."
She said to speak to a pharmacist or doctor about whether to get the flu shot and at what time.
People will need to wait two weeks after getting one vaccine to be able to get the other.
"Carina is a great pharmacist here at Parkhurst Priceline, and you will be able to find out whether you're eligible for the flu jab and also whether you should be getting the flu jab," Ms Lauga said.
Pharmacist in charge Carina Finn vaccinated Ms Lauga and said they had been rolling out the shots for the past couple of weeks.
"We just vaccinated Brittany this morning; she did really well," Ms Finn said.
She said the flu shot was really important to prepare the body for influenza, especially if there was a lot going around.
"It doesn't mean you're not going to catch it. It just reduces the chance of you getting hospitalised or having a really bad case," she said.
Ms Finn said it was really important to get the flu jab in the lead up to winter.
COVID Vaccine Update
Ms Lauga said the COVID vaccine rollout was going slowly in Central Queensland as a result of supply coming into the country.
"We need the Federal Government to secure those supplies into the country so that we can safely roll that COVID vaccine out," she said.
"It's really important that we have enough supply in order to make sure that people can have their second jab."
She said the vaccine rollout was 30 per cent the responsibility of the State Government, and 70 per cent Federal.
She said lots of pharmacies and GPs around Rockhampton and Yeppoon would offer the COVID vaccine in the future.
Only four locations offer the shot across these locations at the moment.
"Ultimately, we'd like to see that vaccine rolling out faster in Central Queensland," Ms Lauga said.