The Rockliff-Ferguson government should extend the free flu vaccination program for another four weeks to ensure all Tasmanians have time to access the vaccinations and the health system isn’t pushed even further to the brink.
After remaining relatively free of the flu during two years of COVID restrictions, the threat returned this year after restrictions were largely lifted and Tasmanians began moving more freely about the community.
Now, with our daily COVID cases again hovering around 1000, Tasmania’s overworked health workers are at breaking point as the system struggles to cope.
The introduction of free flu vaccinations at GP clinics and pharmacies was a necessary step to give Tasmanians the chance to protect themselves and their families and ease pressure on the health system.
But, with several months remaining of the flu season, the program needs to be extended beyond its original end date of 6 July to give all Tasmanians the opportunity to access the vaccines.
We need to minimise the impact of the flu season and keep Tasmanians well and extending the flu vaccination program for another four weeks will help achieve that.
I encourage all Tasmanians to take advantage of free vaccines through their doctor or local pharmacy and state-run clinics – and to get their COVID booster shots – and I encourage the government to extend this vital program to ensure that they can.
Anita Dow MP
Shadow Health Minister