What our Panel said about the flu... September 2019

This month, we wanted to understand whether the flu has affected members of our Panel or someone close to them.

It’s great to see that more than 60% of our Consumer Health Panel participants have not been affected by the flu this year.

For the 37% of people who were affected by the flu, most people indicated that they ‘drank plenty of fluids’, ‘rested in bed’ and ‘took cold and flu medication’.

We asked the Panel whether they would generally seek advice from a health professional when sick with the flu, and 2 in 3 indicated that they would.

A further 85% of people would prefer to see their usual doctor for treatment when sick with the flu. This indicates that most people have a trusted doctor that they see regularly.

It’s encouraging to see that 85% of people had the flu shot this year. Several people commented that they have chronic conditions and were advised by a health professional to get the flu shot. Some additional comments included:

  • “I have it every year and think everyone should do the same.”
  • “It doesn’t protect against everything, but it sure has made a big difference to my life.”
  • “Workplace provided free flu shots.”
  • “I am in a high risk group.”
  • “Have had cancer in the past so have compromised immune system.”

Of those who did get the flu shot, almost 70% of people received it at their local doctor’s surgery. A further 13% of people received it at work and 13% at the local chemist.

Above: We asked the Panel where they received their flu shot.

We asked the Panel whether they think the flu shot is effective in protecting people against the flu. 3 in 5 people believe the flu shot is effective and 1 in 5 people believe it’s effective sometimes.

We also asked the Panel who they think should have the flu shot. Most people indicated ‘everyone’, followed by ‘people with medical conditions’ and ‘people over 65’.

While anyone can get the flu, people at higher risk of contracting the flu (and who are eligible for a free annual flu shot) include:

  • children aged 6 months to 5 years
  • people aged 65 years and older
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people aged 6 months and over
  • pregnant women.

Several Consumer Health Panel participants commented that they had seen promotions for preventing the spread of flu this year. TV ads, posters in doctor surgeries and media stories were the most common forms of promotion people noticed.

When it came to suggestions for preventing the spread of flu in the future, many respondents talked about promoting good personal hygiene.

One person said that we need: “More eye catching notices about cleanliness and covering your cough/sneezes displayed in shops, or where people gather, to remind them to be aware.”

Another person suggested: “Posters in the community in high traffic areas i.e., supermarkets, pubs, churches, servos, community notice boards, hospitals, dentists etc.”

Thank you to our Consumer Health Panel participants for your suggestions and ideas, and for sharing your experiences about the flu. It’s important for the team at COORDINARE to understand the community’s views about the flu so we can ensure as many people as possible are protected in our region.

Remember that getting the flu shot each year before winter arrives is the best way to prevent the flu. Read more on the NSW Health website.

Keep track of community groups and events

Did you know you can find out the latest health-related opportunities for the community on COORDINARE’s Community groups and events page? Be sure to check it out! The page is updated regularly.

Community events and groups

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Please note: COORDINARE is not a clinical health service and cannot advise individuals about their health care. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider regarding any questions or concerns you may have about a particular medical condition.