2020 flu vaccination now available

2 Apr 2020

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the current and somewhat early roll out of this year’s free influenza vaccination for eligible patients should send a strong message to the whole community that it is time to get immunised and protect their health.

Dr Bartone said Australians are rightly and clearly extremely worried about COVID-19 at the moment, but influenza remains a very serious illness, particularly for vulnerable members of the community.

“Each year, thousands of Australians are admitted to hospitals with influenza complications, with around a thousand Australians dying from influenza in each of the past few years,” Dr Bartone said.

“People who get the influenza vaccine now will be better protected from the serious prospect of having both COVID-19 and influenza at the same time.

“Influenza vaccine is the only safe, proven, and tested way of not becoming an influenza statistic.”

Dr Bartone emphasised that GPs are best placed to advise patients about the different flu shot formulations and the one that is most appropriate for their needs.

“Governments are encouraging people to stay at home during this pandemic, but that does not mean you cannot pay a visit to your GP to get vaccinated,” Dr Bartone said.

“Because of the risks of the transmission of COVID-19, many general practices have different systems and arrangements in place this year to ensure patients are protected. They are prioritising access and processes to ensure accelerated administration of the vaccine this year.

“If we can protect as many people as possible from getting the flu this flu season, the better the chance that we can keep the pressure off our hospitals and other health services, which are dealing with COVID-19 and the normal business of keeping Australians fit and healthy.”

Read the full media release here.

Commonwealth influenza resources for health care providers and consumers can be accessed here.