NSW Health’s Director of Communicable
Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said flu vaccines are now available at GPs,
Aboriginal Medical Services, and for children, at most council and community health
services that routinely provide childhood vaccination services.
is your best protection against the flu, so we encourage everyone who can to
get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“We’ve seen abnormally high numbers of
reported flu cases across Australia over the warmer months leading into winter,
so we are urging people to act now and get vaccinated.
“It’s important to act now because it takes
about two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective, and children under
nine years of age having the shot for the first time require two doses, one
The first of the 2019 weekly Influenza
Surveillance Reports shows that the flu season has commenced
early in the year, with 856 confirmed flu cases for the week ending 12 May,
higher than the 812 notifications in the previous week.
“There are plentiful supplies of influenza
vaccine and we urge parents of children under 5 years of age and others
vulnerable to influenza to visit their GP as soon as possible,” she said.
NSW Government is spending a record $22.75 million on statewide immunisation
programs which will assist with flu prevention this season. This includes $2.6
million for free flu shots to children up to five years of age and a $1.5
million immunisation and influenza awareness campaign.
The NSW Government has invested
approximately $130 million in the 2018-19 Immunisation Program budget, including
Commonwealth and state vaccines.
Flu shots are also free under the National Immunisation
Program, for pregnant women, people over 65 years of age, Aboriginal people and
those with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart problems.
is the best protection against the flu, but the following steps also help
prevent the spread of influenza:
- Cough and sneeze into
- Clean your hands;
- Stay home when sick.
“We urge everyone to get
the flu jab to build immunity in the community and beat the flu bug this winter
– it could save your life,” Dr Sheppeard said.
NSW Health is closely
monitoring flu case numbers and issuing an Influenza
Surveillance Weekly Report every Friday to keep the community up
to date on influenza activity.