BASS Coast Shire Council’s influenza immunisation program will begin this week.

Under the program, council nurses will administer free flu vaccinations through the government’s National Immunisation Program.

The free vaccines are available for eligible children aged between six months and four years old, adults aged over 65, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over six months old and pregnant women.

Individuals who are not eligible for the free vaccine are encouraged to visit their local pharmacy or GP.

Council’s immunisation sessions will be held in Cowes, Grantville and Wonthaggi.

The Cowes session is on Tuesday, May 12, at the Cowes Cultural Centre from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The Grantville session is on Thursday, May 14, at the Grantville Hall from 10.30am to 12pm and the Wonthaggi session is on Tuesday, May 19, at the Wonthaggi Civic Centre from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

An additional session for adults aged over 65 will be held on each of these dates. The Wonthaggi session will be from 1.30pm to 3.30pm and the Cowes and Grantville sessions will be from 9.30am to 10.30am.

Due to limited vaccine availability, appointments will be required for these sessions. To book or for more information, contact council’s immunisation administration officer on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or 5671 2211.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said COVID-19 could also impact on this year’s flu season.

“It’s more important than ever for everyone in the community to play their part in helping stop the spread of these viruses,” Cr Tessari said.

“It’s as easy as following three steps: cough or sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands regularly and if you’re sick, avoid going to work or school, visiting vulnerable people or busy public places.”

The flu is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications, including pneumonia. The flu doesn’t discriminate and anyone can be affected.

Visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/immunisation for more information.