Australia starts national rollout of the influenza vaccine
Australia has started to roll out influenza vaccines before the beginning of the peak of the flu season.
The country started to begin the administration of the flu vaccines last month and have urged Australians to come forward to get it.
Around 5 million residents have already had their 2021 flu vaccine - with over 20 million available through community pharmacy, GP’s and dedicated flu clinics.
In a statement from the Australian Government, it states: “It is important to get the flu jab from now to ensure you are protected at the peak of the season which is usually between July and September.
“If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to call your GP, community pharmacy or other vaccination provider and organise your flu shot.
“Whilst there have been record low cases of flu this year in Australia the timing, severity and length of the flu season varies year to year and it is not yet clear how hard influenza will hit Australians this year.”
The Department of Health reported that to date in 2021, there have been 294 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.
No influenza-associated deaths have been notified to the NNDSS.
The Australian Government have said that both the flu vaccine and Covid-19 vaccine protect against different viruses.
Everyone aged over six months should get their flu jab and all adults should also get their Covid-19 vaccine when it is scheduled.
The current medical advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is that it is best not to have the flu and Covid-19 jabs too close together.
Previously they stated that you should leave two weeks between both vaccines but this has now been updated to seven days.
Children under five, the elderly and people considered at risk of becoming seriously ill from influenza can get their jabs free of charge through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Vaccines under the NIP are available from a range of providers including GP’s, community health clinics and community pharmacies in some states.
The Australian Government now requires all vaccination providers to report flu vaccinated to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
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