Last year’s flu season was one of Australia’s deadliest in recent years. Over 1,000 people died from influenza-related illness, and 90% of those were over the age of 65.
In response to this, two new flu vaccines that are being made available by the Federal Government this year aim to better protect the elderly.
Increased protection for the elderly
The vaccines – Fluad and Fluzone High Dose – will be available from April, and if you’re over 65 you can get them for free from your GP through the National Immunisation Program.
These new vaccines are designed to:
- target the mutation that occurred last year in many countries, as well as the strains that were prevalent last year
- trigger a strong immune response, which will help protect the elderly.
The severity of last year’s flu season has also prompted the Government to investigate further measures to protect elderly people. Possibilities include:
- making it mandatory for residential aged-care facilities to provide a seasonal influenza vaccination program for all staff
- better infection control practices in aged-care services.
There will be 3 flu shots provided by Government:
- 6 months to 5 years old
- Potent flu shot for >65 years
If you’re over 65, the free flu vaccine will be available from your GP from April.
Under 65? You can still get seriously ill or die from influenza complications. It’s important for everyone, including children, to be vaccinated each year to prevent the spread of the virus.
At Family Doctors Plus, we believe in being proactive about keeping you well. Vaccinating you and your family is an important part of our approach to preventative medicine. Contact us to make an appointment.