25 September 2023

Flu vaccine has record shot in the arm

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The Minister for Health has declared Australia on track for a record number of influenza vaccinations this season with more than 12.1 million vaccines in the market and another 400,000 on the way.

The Minister, Greg Hunt said the 12.1 million figure was made up of 7.5 million for the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and State and Territory vaccination programs and 4.6 million doses for the private market.

“Supplies for the NIP and State and Territory Government programs are currently secure,” Mr Hunt said.

“However, there has been an unprecedented demand for flu vaccines in the private market.

“I have been working with vaccines companies to ensure that there is sufficient supply in the private market.”

He said medicine and vaccine company, Sanofi would bring a further 400,000 vaccines to Australia which would be made available through GPs and community pharmacies.

“This will take the overall number of flu vaccines available in Australia this year to over 12.5 million, an increase from 11 million in 2018,” Mr Hunt said.

He said vaccination was the most effective way to protect individuals and the broader community from the flu.

“It’s important to get vaccinated against influenza every year, as the virus changes year to year,” he said.

Mr Hunt said those eligible for a free flu vaccine through the NIP include people aged 65 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older and people aged six months or older with certain medical conditions which put them at risk of severe influenza.

He said pregnant women were also eligible for a free flu vaccine.

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