YFD Winter Newsletter

Welcome to our Winter Newsletter. Winter has arrived, and so have all the winter lurgies! There are many ways to be ‘winter ready’ and try and reduce you and your family’s risk of acute respiratory infections such as regular hand washing and good hygiene, social distancing, and being up to date with your influenza and covid vaccination. Our blog article ‘Winter Wellness’ has some great tips on managing acute respiratory infections and when you should seek medical attention.  Our winter edition of our newsletter also includes includes information regarding Influenza and Covid vaccines, RSV vaccine update and a reminder to do that bowel screen, if overdue, for bowel cancer awareness month.


Winter is here, and as the temperature drops, the stock piles of fire wood are ready for those crisp mornings. But are you and your family winter ready when it comes to your health?

Shorter daylight hours and colder weather often leads to indoor confinement, creating a perfect environment for the spread of viruses. This leads to an increase in the number of acute respiratory infections including influenza, covid 19 and other respiratory viruses.

As a parent it can be stressful having a sick child, but fortunately most cases can be managed at home with fluids, rest and pain relief. On some occasions, however, your child may need to seek medical advice, especially if symptoms are not improving or getting worse.

Acute Respiratory infections (ARI’s) is the term given to infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract such as the throat, sinuses, middle ear, airways and lungs.  They are the most common cause of illness in children under 5, who average three to six episodes of ARI’s every year. Some unlucky children in their first year of day care can get up to 10 ARI’s. The majority come from a viral cause such as rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza and influenza virus, adenovirus, and coronavirus infections. Symptoms can include cough, sneezing, blocked or runny nose, sore throat, and fever. Other symptoms included fatigue, muscles aches and pains, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and difficulty breathing, tight chest or wheezing.

Most cases of ARI’s get better within 1 – 2 weeks by treating your child’s symptoms at home. But how do you know when to seek medical advice, consult with your GP or attend the emergency department?

Read more in our blog article https://yourfamilydoctors.com.au/winter-wellness/


It’s not too late to get your flu vaccination and with numbers on the rise we strongly recommend you do! Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for those at risk of severe illness from the flu. Those eligible for government funded influenza vaccines under the National Immunisation program includes:

  • Children from 6 months to under 5 years
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 65 years and over
  • People with serious health conditions (including severe asthma, diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, obesity, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease)

Those not eligible for a government flu vaccine can receive a private flu vaccine at Your Family Doctors for $20. Some of our flu clinics may have a $15 administration fee as there is no medicare rebate available for nurse run flu clinics.

Flu vaccine appointments are available for patients of our practice online via HotDoc under our ‘Nurse’ appointments via this link https://www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres/erina-NSW-2250/your-family-doctors-at-erina/doctors

More info about the flu vaccine go to  https://yourfamilydoctors.com.au/influenza-vaccinations-2024/



We are in the midst of another spike in  COVID-19 cases. Regular COVID-19 vaccinations (also known as boosters) are the best way to maintain your protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. 

They are especially important for anyone aged 65 years or older and people at higher risk of severe COVID-19.

As with all vaccinations, people are encouraged to discuss the vaccine options available to them with their health practitioner. You can also use the booster eligibility tool to determine whether you are eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccination.

    • 75 years and older – Recommended every 6 months.
    •  65-74 years – Recommended every 12 months. Can consider every 6 months.
    •  18-64 years:
        • With severe immunocompromised: Recommended every 12 months. Can consider every 6 months.
        • Without severe immunocompromised: Consider every 12 months.
    • 5-17 years:
        • With severe immunocompromised: Consider every 12 months.
        • Without severe immunocompromised: Not recommended.
    •  Under 5 years – Not recommended.

For more information go to…. https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/covid-19-vaccines/getting-your-vaccination

Patients of the practice can book an appointment for Pfizer Booster online via hotdocs ……https://www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres/erina-NSW-2250/your-family-doctors-at-erina/doctors/pfizer-vaccine-practitioner-5


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Immunisation

RSV is a common respiratory infection. It mostly affects young children. Adults can also get it. RSV symptoms are usually mild. However, some children and adults can get very sick and need to go to hospital for treatment. RSV if estimated to cause one in 50 deaths in children under five. In the over 65 age group, at least 300,000 people are admitted to hospital with RSV each year.

Symptoms can include;

  • Runny nose
  • cough
  • wheeze 
  • difficulty breathing 
  • fever 
  • cyanosis (bluish or greyish colour of skin) 

Babies under one year of age are more likely to get breathing problems from an RSV infection. This can include bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Children who get severely unwell may need to go to hospital.

Most infections in NSW occur in the cooler months of late autumn or winter. 

What vaccinations or immunisations are available for RSV?

Some babies and older people can now get an immunisation or RSV vaccine. 

For those over 60 years; 

An RSV vaccine called Arexvy is available if you are aged 60 years and older and may be at higher risk of severe illness from RSV. 

It has been recommended by ATAGI (The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) for;

  • All adults aged 75 years or older 
  • All Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged 60 years or older 
  • All adults aged 60 years or older with at least one other risk factor for severe disease. These risk factors include any chronic heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, and a compromised immune system (e.g. due to chemotherapy or other medications).  

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine, whether it is recommended for you and cost (at YFD it is available for  $315) 

For babies;

An immunisation called Beyfortus (nirsevimab), a monoclonal antibody (mAB)  has been approved for babies under 12 months of age who are at the highest risk of severe illness from RSV. It is a passive immunisation that provides antibodies directly to the infant for immediate protection. The eligibility criteria includes:

  • babies born before 37 weeks gestation and after 31 October 2023
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies born after 31 October 2023
  • other infants living with specific chronic and complex health conditions.

Further information about the eligibility for Beyfortus™ (nirsevimab) discuss with your doctor. Please note these vaccines are only available in the NSW health setting and are not yet available in General Practice.

Abrysvo, is a RSV vaccine that has been approved for use in Australia in pregnant women as a protective measure for their babies in their first 6 months of life. but isn’t available yet. 

To read more go to our blog… https://yourfamilydoctors.com.au/respiratory-syncytial-virus-rsv-immunisation/



June is Bowel Cancer awareness month. Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer and around 15,500 Aussies are diagnosed with the disease every year. From 1 July 2024, 1.6 million Australians aged 45 to 49 will be able to join the Australian Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Bowel cancer can develop without a family history of the disease and often without signs and symptoms. This free test can find traces of blood in your poo that may indicate the presence of cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. Catching it early is key. If found early, over 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated. So do the test when you receive it in the mail or order one for free. 

From 1 July 2024,  the eligible screening age will be lowered from 50 to 45. This means people aged 45 to 49 can join the program.

  • People aged 45 to 49 can request their first bowel cancer screening kit be mailed to them.
  • People aged 50 to 74 will continue to receive a bowel cancer screening kit in the mail every 2 years.

To request a kit go to;https://www.ncsr.gov.au/information-for-participants/order-a-replacement-bowel-test-kit/

People with signs, symptoms, or a family history of bowel cancer, should talk with a doctor before screening with the program.


It was Men’s Health Week from 10th – 16th June. 50 Men in Australia die each day from preventable causes. That’s around 18,000 men a year. One thing we can do to reduce the number of men dying too young is to increase the number of men getting health checks.

Let’s reach out to the blokes we care about, encourage them to look after their health and get regular check ups with their GP. It’s OK to to seek help.



MensLine Australia (online counselling and forum for men) 1300789978

Dads in Distress (peer support for separated Dads) 1300 853 437




Thanks for reading our Winter Newsletter –  keep healthy, be winter ready and we will be back in a few months with more news. In the meantime, like us on facebook or instagram to keep up to date with the important health information and to see what the YFD team has been up to. Our website is also a great source of information, so please check out our blog for health information written by our team. Stay well.

Love Team YFD xx

Recent posts

how to find us

how to reach us

02 4365 4999

a  602 Terrigal Dr Erina NSW 2250
f  (02) 4365 4841
e  info@yourfamilydoctors.com.au