Health Minister’s launch of National Flu Vaccination Program
an important reminder to all Australians
A recent nationwide survey commissioned by Sanofi Pasteur revealed that one-in-four Australians feel they do not need to get vaccinated against influenza this year due to increased hand hygiene and social distancing measures. This complacency could result in an rebound influenza season unless more Australians receive an influenza vaccine ahead of winter.
Dr Iris Depaz, Medical Director at Sanofi Pasteur ANZ, said “It’s vital Australians talk to their healthcare professional about influenza vaccination. Australia’s success in controlling the transmission of both COVID-19 and influenza last year was due to the adoption of disease control measures as well as high influenza vaccination rates. This put the country in a good position, but we can’t let our guard down as we enter this year’s winter.”
“As one of the world’s largest producers of vaccines, we are playing our part to ensure that supply meets demand this influenza season,” she said.
With 12 vaccine manufacturing facilities globally, Sanofi Pasteur produces 2.5 million vaccine doses every day.This year alone the company will deliver 9 million vaccine doses in Australia for influenza and other vaccine preventable diseases.
“All of Sanofi Pasteur’s influenza doses for this year are now in the country with millions already shipped to GPs and pharmacies ready for Australians to have their annual vaccination,” Dr Depaz said.
This year, influenza vaccines available in Australia will contain the following strains of influenza virus: A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus, an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus, a B/Washington/02/2019-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus, and a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.
The Federal Government provides free influenza vaccinations through the National Immunisation Program to children aged between 6 months and 5 years, those aged 65 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pregnant women, and people living with health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and severe asthma that place them at high risk of complications.