Federal Government announces free flu jabs for older Aussies

PIC: Supplied

Two new flu vaccines, introduced by the Turnbull Government will be provided to over three million Australians free of charge. 

People over the age of 65 will be able to receive the free jabs to help combat the upcoming flu season. 

Member for Canning Andrew Hastie praised the decision for its impact on the health of all Australian communities.

“To protect the most vulnerable in our community the Coalition government has made these new flu vaccines free to Australians over the age of 65," he said. 

“I encourage all those eligible to get their shots before the flu season begins.”

The introduction of free vaccines was in direct response to last year's flu season, which saw 90 per cent of flu-related deaths in 2017 occurring in people aged over 65.

Under the National Immunisation Program, those eligible for a free flu shot include people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who suffer from chronic conditions.

Last year more than 4.5 million doses of the influenza vaccine were provided at no cost to Australians who were most at risk from the flu.

The new vaccines have been specifically made for the elderly, as their immune systems respond less effectively to vaccines.

The new three strain vaccines work in over 65s by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza.

The Federal Government is encouraging all Australians to get their flu vaccinations before the peak flu season starts in June.

From April 2018, the Fluad® and Fluzone High Dose® vaccines will be available through the National Immunisation Program following a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy is working with the Turnbull Government to continue providing healthcare to Australians. 

 

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