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Now is the time to get the flu vaccine

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The flu vaccine is available for Tasmanians aged over six months ahead of this year’s season.

Health experts say now is the best time to get the vaccine as the flu season usually starts in June or July and peaks around August.

Director of Public Health, Dr Mark Veitch is urging people not to leave it too late.

"Most years, the peak of flu is in August and September, so it's particularly timing to get your flu vaccine now in April and May because that means you'll have a reasonable good level of protection when the flu season peaks, usually mid-winter."

The vaccine reduces the likelihood of the illness and its severe complications to those most at risk.

Dr Veitch says symptoms of the flu are worse than the common cold.

"Symptoms of influenza are a fever, headache, severe muscle aches and pains and they come on quite quickly, within a few hours. Most healthy people will be sick for a few days - they'll miss their work and they should definitely stay away from school and work if they have influenza."

The flu vaccine is free to people aged 65 years and over, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged over six months and pregnant women.

See your GP or some pharmacists for the vaccine or visit www.flu.tas.gov.au for more information.