Northern suburbs residents are being encouraged to roll up their sleeves and get a free flu shot from Northern Health.

In a bid to reduce the number of influenza cases in Whittlesea and Hume this year, Northern Health is offering free vaccinations for the community.

The vaccinations are available in the foyer of The Northern Hospital from 8am-8pm daily.

Northern Health’s head of respiratory medicine, Katharine See said the organisation had recorded higher than usual numbers of cases of influenza already this year.

“Having the flu shot significantly reduces the risk of you getting the flu and is recommended for all members of the community,” Dr See said.


Northern Health free flu vaccinations

Nicole Carlon receives her free vaccination from nurse Smitha Varghese . (Marco De Luca)

Northern Health clinical nurse educator Kerryn Asbury said she had first-hand experience of the impact of influenza.

Ms Asbury’s husband, Trevor, was diagnosed with influenza a couple of weeks ago and had to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for treatment.

“We have been told it will likely take another two to three months for Trevor to fully recover and return to work,” she said.

“It’s not just the physical effects of the flu that have impacted Trevor, but the emotional, psychological and financial effects felt by Trevor, myself, our three boys, family and friends.

“My husband was not in the high-risk category being a 36-year-old fit, healthy man. And yet, he was severely impacted by contracting the flu.”