Gift of the (flu) jab: protect yourself this winter 

15 May 2024

Immunisations play an important part in protecting our community against harmful infections and disease.  

That’s why the City of Melbourne provides immunisation services for those who live, work or study in the city. 

These immunisations are administered by our fantastic team of registered nurses. 

We spoke to a member of our immunisation team to highlight the important work they do to keep our community safe and healthy. 

Melissa has been a senior immunisation nurse at the City of Melbourne for close to three years. For her, nursing is more than a job – it’s a passion that requires a real desire to make a difference. 

Her passion is shared amongst her colleagues within council’s 12-strong immunisation team, who work together to provide vaccination services via community sessions, individual appointments, school visits and corporate and staff flu sessions.  

A nurse administering a vaccine to another person.
Melissa (right) gently guides people through the immunisations.

Record-breaking rollout

Last year was the immunisation team’s busiest on record, with 9091 people vaccinated – this included 3031 flu vaccinations. 

This year, the numbers are up even more. 

The team delivered 1300 flu vaccinations in April – a 36 per cent increase compared to last April.  

Delivering such high-volume care requires quality teamwork, Melissa said. 

“I honestly feel that we all consider each other family. Despite everyone’s differing availability and commitments, we pull together and do what we can to make sure that the shifts are covered, helping each other and providing an accessible and reputable service,” she said.  

All in a meaningful day’s work

For Melissa, delivering this service is a privilege – with some opportunities, such as providing vaccinations for Afghan and Ukrainian refugees, being especially memorable.  

“These families arrived in Melbourne after fleeing their countries ravaged by war. They were displaced, traumatised,” she said.

Although the vaccination process was long and complicated – requiring translating documents and communicating through interpreters – above all, it was rewarding.  

“Some children were having up to six or seven injections in a day to get them ready for school in Melbourne and be up to date to Australian standards. Interestingly, these families never complained, they were so grateful to be here,” Melissa said.

Getting to know people’s stories like this is something Melissa really loves about nursing. 

She’s found that, as a nurse, people want to share these stories with her and she often plays confidante to clients – a role she takes seriously.    

“Sometimes its health-related and sometimes it’s not. Compassion, empathy and really taking the time to listen play a major part in a nursing role. They’re traits that definitely come in handy when understanding the experience of someone and their history,” she said.

While some days are tough, the flexibility and in-demand nature of nursing means that no two days are the same.  

What does remain constant for Melissa is the positive feeling at the end of each day, knowing that she’s done something to help someone.  

Annual immunisation campaign 

Roll up your sleeve this winter and get the flu jab at one of our community immunisation sessions. 

We also offer on-site workplace vaccinations. To protect your staff this flu season, contact our Immunisation team.

Find out more about other immunisations that are available.

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