26 September 2023

Health checks in on season’s flu jabs

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The Department of Health has issued a reminder to all Australians to receive a flu vaccination in April, with more than 13 million free doses secured for this flu season amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

In a statement, the Department said Australians should speak to their GP, pharmacist or aged care provider to arrange a flu vaccination in the coming weeks.

“Whilst flu vaccination does not prevent against COVID-19, a flu vaccination is critical to protecting the general health of Australians from influenza, which can take between 100 to 1,000 lives per year depending on the severity,” the Department said.

“From 1 May, all aged care workers and visitors must have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza to enter an aged care facility.”

It said there were more free vaccines under the National Immunisation Program in 2020 than ever before, including a new quadrivalent vaccine – Fluad Quad – for people aged 65 years and over.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there are strong national requirements for all Australians to stay home unless they are undertaking essential activities,” the Department said.

“However it is permissible to leave home for medical or other health care needs, including attending an appointment to get a flu vaccine.”

It said receiving a vaccination in April would provide optimal protection in the June to September peak period of influenza circulation.

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