Michayla Murdoch, an at risk worker, receives an influenza vaccination from pharmacist Nick Loukas. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Michayla Murdoch, an at risk worker, receives an influenza vaccination from pharmacist Nick Loukas. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Health authorities: “there is no shortage of flu vaccines”

HEALTH authorities in Northern NSW have confirmed there is no shortage of flu vaccines in the area.

Paul Corben, director of North Coast Public Health at the Northern NSW Local Health District, said there was no shortage of funded flu vaccines for people eligible to be vaccinated under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

“Deliveries of the 2020 influenza vaccines have commenced in NSW for influenza vaccines that are funded for eligible people under the NIP,” he said.

“Vaccine distribution commenced on March 23 to aged care facilities and health care workers, followed by wider distribution to all other immunisation providers such as Aboriginal Medical Services, general practitioners and community health services.

“More than 1.2 million doses have been distributed, which is more than 60 per cent of overall orders.”

The funded vaccine is available free of charge from general practitioners, community health centres and Aboriginal Medical Services for all children aged 6 months to 5 years, pregnant women, people aged 65 and older, all Aboriginal people, and people with a chronic disease.

Mr Corben said general practitioners and pharmacies were also able to purchase vaccines from vaccine manufacturers, for people who were not eligible for the funded vaccines.

“The NSW Government has lowered the age of children eligible to receive their flu jabs from pharmacists, from 16 to 10 years,” he said.

“It is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months receive the influenza vaccine this year and every year.

“The best time to get vaccinated for the flu is from mid-April to May.

“Handwashing and physical distancing measures, which are currently recommended to reduce transmission of COVID-19, are also effective prevention against transmission of influenza.”

The NSW Government has invested approximately $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.



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