- The Immunisation Coalition (IC) calls on the incoming government to ensure influenza vaccines are made free of charge to all Australians, and welcomes the intention of state and territory governments to offer free flu vaccination to their constituents
- We need to act as early as possible, and a coordinated effort will be key for any new program rollout.
The Immunisation Coalition (IC) welcomes the intention of state and territory governments to improve influenza vaccination rates by offering free flu vaccination to the public.
Australia is facing a potentially severe flu season this winter, with rates of infection increasing dramatically over the past 4 weeks.1Uptake of the flu vaccine so far this year has been very poor.
Dr Rod Pearce, Chairman of the Immunisation Coalition is urging Australians “to remember the importance of vaccination, and not underestimate the seriousness of flu. This is a unique year post COVID, with rebounding flu and decreased immunity in the population.”
“There is also the opportunity to have your Covid booster at the same time as receiving your flu shot” 2 he went on to say.
“Influenza vaccine should be available to all Australians, no matter who they are3. Flu can be life-threatening, with a typical flu season in Australia being responsible for more deaths than the annual road toll”. Kim Sampson, CEO of the Immunisation Coalition.
A/Prof Chris Freeman, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia said, “This year we need to intervene as early as possible and I commend the state and territory governments who have stood up and acted, however this needs to be a permanent and planned activity in the future. Having influenza vaccine universally available means that immunisation demand will be easier to predict, distribution easier to plan and manage, and more certainty about securing a workforce to administer the vaccine if we know in advance”.
Taking a proactive approach to immunisation nationally is key in keeping all Australians healthy in all of life.
- From mid-April 2022, the weekly number of laboratory confirmed flu cases has exceeded the 5 year mean: https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ozflusurveil-no03-22.htm
- ATAGI advice
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook