Ground-breaking flu vaccines to protect seniors in Wide Bay
If you are aged 65 or over, you are eligible for two new ground-breaking and potentially life-saving flu vaccines free of charge, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announced today.
Mr O’Brien said the vaccines have been fast-tracked to ensure older Australians receive greater protection.
“Tragically, there were 1,100 flu-related deaths last year, and more than 90 per cent of them were people aged over 65 years of age,” Mr O’Brien said.
“We must do everything we can to protect those who are most at risk, and this is particularly important in Wide Bay with a higher-than-average population of people over 65.
“The new vaccines, Fluad® and Fluzone High Dose® – were registered in Australia and funded by the Coalition Government to provide increased protection and help save lives. They will be available to more than 3 million Australians aged 65 years and over.”
From April 2018, both vaccines will be available through the National Immunisation Program following a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said these new vaccines have been specifically made for the elderly, as their immune systems respond less effectively to vaccines.
“These new trivalent (three strain) vaccines work in over 65s by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza,” Minister Hunt said.
“Vaccination saves lives and they are fundamental to our health system. We encourage all Australians aged over six months old to get a flu vaccination this year before the peak season starts in June.”