In March 2016, busy IT professional, Nick, 30, Sydney, contracted a severe case of influenza, out of season.

For four nights, Nick endured hot and cold flushes, night sweats, sleep disruption, ongoing headaches and episodes of coughing and sneezing. In fact, he was so unwell, he was forced to cancel his Mardi Gras party, and participation in all planned after-party celebrations. Instead, Nick lay bedridden for days, feeling frustrated and disappointed with his ailing health and lack of productivity.

This year, Nick was pleased to learn he could get vaccinated in pharmacy – “a convenient, affordable and accessible alternative to vaccination at a doctor’s surgery or medical centre.”

His harrowing experience with flu last year has strengthened his resolve to protect against flu this season, and moving forward.

 This is Nick’s story.

UntitledNick is a fit, healthy IT professional with a busy social life.

In March 2016, two days before Nick was due to host a Mardi Gras party, he started to feel unwell.

“I was overwhelmed by tiredness, and my whole body felt like it was shutting down.

“Up until then, I had mistakenly considered flu to be similar to the common cold. But it was so much worse,” Nick said.

Nick developed night sweats, and was plagued by hot and cold flushes. He developed a raspy cough, a persistent headache, and sneezed continuously.

His entire body was overwhelmed with exhaustion, but he was unable to sleep.

“I knew I was unwell, and was promptly diagnosed with the flu.

“I was both surprised, and annoyed that I had contracted flu out of season,” said Nick.

“I’d been catching a lot of public transport at the time, which was unusual for me, and clearly my immune system wasn’t strong enough to combat the flu virus.

“When I visited my local pharmacist to fill a prescription for antibiotics, he advised me to get a flu shot,” Nick said.

“Up until then, I wasn’t aware that flu vaccination was available in pharmacy. I rarely visit the GP, even when I’m sick, so it’s good to know that I can drop by my local pharmacy to have a flu shot this year.”

Nick was so unwell with the flu, that he was forced to take time off work, and was unable to participate in any Mardi Gras celebrations that he had long been looking forward to.

“It was really disappointing to be so sick when all of my friends were celebrating and having a good time,” Nick said.

Nick spent a week mounting a full recovery from flu, and is planning to get vaccinated in pharmacy each year, moving forward.

“Given my first-hand experience with flu, I fully appreciate its seriousness, and now have a much better understanding of how to protect against the infection, including annual vaccination.

“I intend to vaccinate in pharmacy this year because I don’t want to repeat history!” Nick said.