Free flu vaccine program extended

Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Health

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is extending free flu vaccinations across GP clinics, pharmacies and state-run clinics until July 31 to give every Tasmanian the opportunity to be vaccinated against influenza.

Close to 250,000 Tasmanians have rolled up their sleeves and received their influenza vaccine – an extraordinary effort and one that stands Tasmania in good stead as we continue to have high numbers of flu cases reported.

It is terrific to see the influenza vaccination rate at a record level, beating our previous best by more than 15,000 doses delivered, and vaccines administered at pharmacies have almost doubled over the past two years – making us one of the most vaccinated states as a percentage of the population.

The free vaccines across GPs and pharmacies are in addition to our state-run flu vaccination clinics that will continue.

As expected, after two years of very few cases in Tasmania, influenza is re-emerging in the State and we are continuing to see cases rise significantly each week.

As of 26 June 2022, 1,670 confirmed cases of influenza have been notified to the Department of Health so far this calendar year, with weekly cases exceeding 350 per week in recent weeks.

While almost three quarters of Tasmanians over 65 have already had their flu shot, there is still 25 per cent yet to receive a vaccine. Additionally, we are focused on increasing the rates of children aged between six months and five years with only 26.8 per cent having received a vaccine.

The best thing Tasmanians can do to protect themselves from the severe effects of influenza is to get vaccinated.

People may consider wearing a mask to offer them further protection when they are in more crowded places and cannot maintain physical distance. Everyone with respiratory symptoms is reminded how important it is to stay at home until their symptoms clear.

If you haven’t yet, please make an appointment now to take advantage of this scheme and to ensure GPs and Pharmacies are able to order adequate stock.

And don’t forget if you are due for a COVID booster, you can have this on the same day as your flu vaccination.

As a reminder, free flu vaccines are available at:

  • GPs and state-run community clinics – all age groups 6 months and over; and
  • Participating pharmacies – all age groups 10 years and over.

State-run clinics open and available for walk-ins over the next week (bookings preferred) include:

  • Burnie Bowls Club, Burnie, July 5, 12pm-5:30pm;
  • The Don Centre, Devonport, July 6, 12pm – 6:30pm;
  • 362 Main Road, Glenorchy, July 4-5, 9am – 4:30pm;
  • 109 Collins Street, Hobart, July 5-9, 9am – 4:30pm; and
  • Tasmanian Turf Club, Mowbray, July 7-9, 9am – 4:30pm.

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