The Federal Government says it is investing more than $100 million for seasonal influenza vaccines to protect Australians most at risk this winter.
Its approach to managing influenza and COVID-19 over the winter months will focus on minimising health impacts, while protecting those most at risk of severe illness.
The Government claims to have secured vaccines to cover all vulnerable people eligible for a government-funded vaccine through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
This amounts to around 9.5 million doses for Australians.
Those eligible for a Government-funded flu vaccine include:
- adults 65 years and over
- children under five
- pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people with certain medical conditions.
The National Immunisation Program offers a specific, enhanced influenza vaccine to protect people 65 years and over.
In addition to vaccines available for those most at risk through the NIP, private market vaccines will also be available.
Influenza vaccination is particularly important this year, the health department says.
With the easing of international and domestic public health measures arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic, a resurgence of influenza is expected in 2022.
The best protection this winter is to receive an influenza vaccine and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including any recommended booster doses.
Government funded influenza vaccines will become available from April 4 through a range of providers, including GPs, community health clinics and eligible pharmacies subject to local supply arrangement in states and territories.
The department encourages everyone to start to book their appointments from mid-April to ensure they have the best protection at the peak of the season, which is usually between June and September.
The medical advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that it is safe to have the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same visit.
If you haven’t received your COVID-19 booster when it’s your time to get your influenza vaccination, check with your healthcare provider to see if they can administer both vaccines at the same visit.
Help stop the flu in 2022.
For more information visit www.health.gov.au/immunisation