Winter Preparedness – Flu advice for health professionals

Winter Preparedness – Flu advice for health professionals

18 May, 2022

Influenza (the flu) is a highly contagious disease, usually prevented by vaccination and treated by managing symptoms.

Spread by body fluids from infected people, the flu is a viral infection affecting your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. Typical symptoms of flu include fever, sore throat, tiredness and muscle aches. Flu can affect anyone but is especially serious for babies and older people.

EMPHN works to support primary health care providers to respond to influenza outbreaks and increase immunisation coverage across the region.

Key messages for primary health care workers:

  • Seasonal vaccination is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over, strongly recommended for high-risk groups, and is free for some of these groups.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with an influenza vaccine.
  • General practice respiratory clinics are available to provide patients with access to assessment for flu and other respiratory symptoms, testing and treatment close to where they live.
  • Visit our events calendar to register for upcoming influenza education and training sessions hosted by EMPHN and other partners
  • Sign up to our publications to receive industry specific updates

As winter approaches and we prepare for influenza season, the role of general practice will be critical. EMPHN is here to support you and your practice as you prepare for flu season, while continuing to respond to outbreaks of COVID-19.

If your practice can't see patients with respiratory symptoms this year, please direct them to General Practice Respiratory Clinics – not to hospital, unless it's an emergency. There are posters and digital assets available to inform your patients and reception teams.

Key Resources:

At Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) we have a dedicated COVID-19 Response and Aged Care Team supporting Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs). Supports we provide include facilitating connections to providers for the delivery of COVID vaccinations and providing links to the latest public health guidelines and contacts regarding managing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Below are useful links and resources to assist your RACF with COVID-19 related activities throughout Winter 2022.

COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Stay up to date with the latest information and guidance regarding vaccinations for both staff and residents. This webpage also provides residential aged care facilities with recommendations on how to ensure the safety of visitors and staff within your facility.

For Winter Dose 2022 Specific information

COVID19 Winter Dose Information Kit for Residential Aged Care Providers outlines guidance and resources to assist in planning and preparing for the COVID-19 Winter dose vaccination program.

Aged care sector news
EMPHN RACF News - If you work in a Residential Aged Care Facility in our catchment and wish to receive PHN updates, please email to request being placed on the mailing list. Also see, Aged Care Sector news - DOH newsletter: Protecting older Australians

Our HealthPathways Melbourne clinical editors work to ensure GPs and other health professionals can quickly access the latest influenza information at the point of care. Relevant pages include:

Access to HealthPathways Melbourne is limited to health professionals within the North Western and Eastern Melbourne PHN catchments only. Click here to request access or complete this form to request automatic login.