The flu is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications, including pneumonia. The influenza virus is spread by contact with fluids from coughs and sneezes. Most adults are infectious for up to seven days after becoming sick with the flu, so it is best to avoid contact with other people while you are unwell. It is estimated that the flu contributes to over 3,000 deaths in Australia each year.
The influenza virus has a unique ability to change its surface structure, so annual vaccination against the latest version of the flu is strongly recommended by health professionals. Vaccination should ideally occur between March and May each year.
Requirements for students
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences students undertaking placement are required to be vaccinated annually against influenza, preferably between March and May. A vaccine record or written statement from a health practitioner must be submitted via Sonia that confirms receipt of one adult dose of influenza vaccine within the current calendar year.