Vulnerable Australians are being urged to get free vaccinations against seasonal influenza under the National Immunisation Plan which now includes children aged between six months and five years.
Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vast MP said although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, the impact of influenza could have a fatal result for those most at risk.
“If left unprotected, the flu can take between 100 and1000 lives per year,” Mr Vasta said.
“With over 13,000 vulnerable aged pensioners in Bonner, it is important no one misses out on this vital vaccination.
“From May 1, 2020 all aged care workers and visitors must be vaccinated against seasonal influenza to enter an aged care facility and everyone aged six months and over should continue to be vaccinated against influenza this year, and every year, to protect themselves and others in the community.”
Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP said the Morrison Government had taken extra measures to ensure Australians most at risk of contracting influenza were a priority.
“The Australian Government has invested more than $80 million to provide more free vaccines under the National Immunisation Program in 2020 than ever before,” Minister Hunt said.
“In total over 13.5 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines have been secured for the National Immunisation Program and the private market in 2020.
“This includes over 4 million doses of Fluad Quad® for those aged 65 years and older which is enough to vaccinate close to 100 per cent of the cohort.”
Vaccinating against the flu will reduce the risk of a very dangerous double-up of flu and coronavirus—both diseases affecting the respiratory system.
“The actions we take to slow the spread of COVID-19 can also stop the spread of influenza and other viruses,” Minister Hunt said.
“Every one of us has a responsibility to contribute to this effort by practising good hygiene, social distancing, understanding how and when to self-isolate and following the Government’s directions on public gatherings and workplaces.”
The National Immunisation Program provides free vaccines to those most at risk, including
- Pregnant women
- All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People aged six months and older
- People aged 65 years and older
- People aged six months and older with certain medical risk factors and;
- All children aged between six months and five years.
More information on the flu is available at https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-services/flu-influenza-immunisation-service
For more information on COVID-19 and the Government’s response at www.health.gov.au