The Australian flu season generally lasts from May to October and we're definitely seeing a steady stream of sufferers coming through our doors. So it is still worthwhile to have the needle. We stock the 2016 Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine which contains:
A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus – unchanged from 2015
A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus – changed from 2015
B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus, Victoria lineage – changed from 2015 in Trivalent only (this strain was included in Quadrivalent formulations in 2015)
B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus, Yamagata lineage – unchanged from 2015
You might think that as half the strains are unchanged that you can chance it and not get the jab if you had it last year. This is not a sensible strategy as we lose the immunity from the vaccine over about 9 months so, even if all the strains are unchanged, it is still important to get vaccinated every year. This is particularly important if you are over 65, are pregnant or have conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart disease or diabetes.