Earlier this year, Dr Karen Price, president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, reminded Australians that their flu shots are just as vital this year.
While older Australians may be prioritising their COVID vaccine and younger patients may be stepping back to let their elders be first in line for flu vaccines, Dr Price said that GPs around Australia were up to the dual vaccination task.
"If you're young and healthy you might think you should be standing back and waiting for the most vulnerable patients to get their flu shots first," she said.
"In fact, we want these patients to do the opposite. Book an appointment with your GP to get your flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available, and then get your COVID-19 vaccine when you can.
"Patients who are more vulnerable, including those who are older, should prioritise getting their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is offered to them."
While the COVID vaccine will be the most talked about medical appointment each of us will have this year, the prompt from Dr Price about getting the flu vaccine as well is a timely reminder that regular check ups are how we keep ourselves and our community safe and healthy.
To stay on top of our health many of us will first turn to a GP. A local GP who knows your medical history is a great place to start and can direct you to more specialised health services if or when the need arises. However, it is not only GPs that we can turn to for preventative healthcare.
New and less than ergonomic working arrangements mean that a check up with a physiotherapist does not go astray. Similarly, looking after our heart, eyes, and teeth is often best done through consulting a medical professional. And, let's not forget that it is not only our body that is in need of attention; taking care of our mind through sleeping and eating well is just as important.
In this Health Check Handbook we cover some of the most common areas and services that each of us can turn to to ensure that we stay healthy throughout the year. Using this publication as a guide, hear from health experts in the Canberra region and connect with local services.