BECAUSE of the increased risk of complications from flu, McLean Care residents aged over 65 will have access to influenza vaccines.
While it is not mandatory for residents to have the flu injection, most take it up.
"As providers we take precautions to prevent and control the flu and minimise infection-related risks," McLean Care spokeswoman Heidi Manning said.
"That includes ... offering free flu vaccinations every year to our staff and volunteers, and keeping records of their vaccinations.
"From May 1, all staff working in our residential facilities will have received their annual flu shot."
Annual flu shots are recommended for all residents because they are the single most important measure for reducing the risk of serious flu for individuals and preventing flu outbreaks.
"It's also important that all staff caring for residents are vaccinated against flu every year," Ms Manning said.
"This has the dual benefit of reducing flu illness in staff members and helping to prevent the spread of flu from staff to vulnerable residents.
"We ask the community to not only strongly consider their own vaccination, but to also be prudent when planning visits to their relatives in care.
"Catching this type of virus is of grave concern for older people, who are highly susceptible to such diseases."
Efficacy of flu vaccination tends to decrease with older age, which makes it even more important staff members who have regular contact with vulnerable older residents have themselves been vaccinated against influenza.
Annual flu shots for staff also reduce the risk of them taking influenza home and infecting family and friends.
"The COVID-19 virus is only going to complicate the flu season and over the years we have seen more stains of the influenzea virus developing," Ms Manning said.
"This will be one of the most challenging winters we will have seen." More at mcleancare.org.au.
- In line with the centre's pandemic emergency management plan, it is closing all its residential care facilities immediately to all visitors. There will be no visitors allowed on site except staff and essential service providers.