An additional two million flu vaccines will available from this week bringing the total number available in 2020 to a record 18 million.
This is up from 13.2 million flu vaccines in 2019, 11 million in 2018 and almost 10 million more than the 8.3 million flu vaccines provided in 2017.
Vaccinating against the flu saves and protects lives and is particularly important this year due to COVID-19.
Whilst flu vaccination does not prevent against COVID-19, a flu vaccination is critical to protecting the general health of Australians from influenza.
The additional two million flu vaccines manufactured in Australia by Seqirus are being distributed to GPs and pharmacist from this week and over June. These additional vaccines were secured by the Australian Government in response to unprecedented demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
More than 7.3 million flu vaccines have already been administered by doctors and pharmacists and entered into the Australian Immunisation Register this year. This compares to 4.5 million doses administered and entered for the same period last year, and over double the 3.5 million in 2018.
It’s important to remember that vaccination should continue to be offered as long as the influenza virus is circulating. So, if you haven’t already, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Please call your GP or local pharmacy to check their availability of vaccines before attending in person.
Both influenza and COVID-19 cause serious respiratory illness. The combination of both diseases could be life threatening, especially for our vulnerable people.
The additional two million vaccines being supplied by Seqirus are in addition to what has already been provided by the Government through the National Immunisation Program (NIP), which provides a free seasonal influenza vaccine to people most at risk of severe influenza and its complications.
The Government has invested more than $80 million to provide free flu vaccine to people most at risk of complications from influenza, through the NIP.
Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and is recommended for all people aged six months and over (unless contraindicated).