We are heading into winter and that means flu season. We currently have stock of government-funded vaccines (free for people >65yo, children under 5 years, and people with some chronic diseases). We also have private vaccines available for the general community. Immunity from the flu vaccine is thought to decrease over 3-4 months so it is recommended to have the flu vaccine from April/May onwards to ensure you are protected in peak flu season (usually around August/September). https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/flu-influenza-immunisation
From February 1st 2018, all medicines containing codeine require a prescription. This includes medications such as Panadeine, Nurofen Plus, Mersyndol and others. If you take these medications you will need to make an appointment to see one of the doctors to discuss how best to manage your pain.
On December 1st 2017, the pap smear screening program changed. A new test is available, called the Cervical Screening Test. It is collected the same way as the pap test but it is performed 5 yearly instead of 2 yearly from the age of 25. Please ask us for more information.
Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. There is a government-funded screening program being phased in. By early 2019, everyone from 50-74years old will get a BowelScreen kit in the mail every 2 years. You can collect a sample in the privacy of your own home and post it back for testing. The results are sent to you and your GP. If bowel cancer is detected early it is treatable.
Due to increasing cases of meningococcal disease, the Victorian Government has been funding the meningococcal ACWY vaccine for all Victorian 15-16 year olds. This program has been extended until December 31st 2018. This vaccine can be given at school or at your GP clinic.
The Victorian Department of Human Services is also currently funding immunisations for men who have sex with men. The HPV vaccine is free for men up to the age of 26 until 31/10/19. The Hepatitis A vaccine is free until 30/6/19. It is also free for people who are injecting drug users, homeless and prisoners. The Hepatitis B vaccine is free for men who have sex with men as an ongoing, unlimited program.
Did you know that children should remain in a booster seat while travelling in cars until they are 145cm? The law states that children can travel without a booster when they reach age 7 but most children at this age are too small to sit safely in an adult seat. Adult seats place them at high risk of severe injury in a crash. See VicRoads for more information.