Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland will offer free flu vaccines this winter to its residents. The move reminds us once again that making medicine free isn’t actually that difficult.
Victoria and NSW announced a “month-long blitz” this week starting from June 1 as what’s expected to be a severe influenza season kicks off.
Anyone over six months of age will be eligible and vaccines will be available in GP clinics and pharmacies.
Flu case numbers in Victoria increased in the past week from 10,000 to 15,000 reported infections. This is more than the combined number of reported case numbers from the past two years. Yikes.
“What this will do is make it easier and more accessible for everyone else to come forward and get that free vaccination to keep themselves safe in the face of what looks like a really nasty flu season,” Vic Health Minister Martin Foley said on Tuesday.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said there had been a similar sharp increase in flu cases identified in the state this week.
“We strongly urge everyone over six months of age to get a flu shot as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones as the virus is easily spread and potentially deadly,” she said on Monday.
“This is particularly important for those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and children aged six months to five years. If you live in an aged or disability care facility, are aged over 65 or are immunocompromised, now is the time to book in.
“We also recommend a COVID-19 winter booster if you are eligible as both flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.”
SA’s Premier Peter Malinauskas announced its program last week.
South Australians can get a freebie vaccine until June 30. For all the SA info click here.
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WA Premier Mark McGowan echoed the SA premier and said “after two years of very low flu cases, I would urge all Western Australians to roll up to protect themselves now before the worst of winter.”
West Aussies can cop their free flu vaccine starting this Wednesday June 1. For more info on getting the vax in WA click here.
Queensland’s Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk made the flu vaccine free for everyone in the state last week. She’s ahead of her time!
If you’re in Queensland, you can score a free vax from now until June 30. For more info on a Queensland flu shot click here.
It sort of makes you wonder why flu vaccines — and like, all vaccines ever — aren’t free for everyone always. It feels like a pretty good use of government money to stop people getting horrendously ill. Just saying!
According to The Daily Telegraph, making the vaccines free could cost between $20 million to $25 million which in my humble-but-snotty opinion is absolutely fkn worth it.
Only 16 per cent of people who’re aged between five and 65 have had the flu vaccine this year so need we remind you, it’s not just for boomers.
So get the jab, c’mon, please. I refuse to spend another winter growing a Mt Everest-sized pile of snot-covered tissues.
According to Pharmacy Guild’s Victorian president Anthony Tassone people should still get vaccinated even if they have “vaccine fatigue”.
“Whilst we can appreciate members of the public can have vaccine fatigue and they’re a bit over it, the flu virus doesn’t care,” he told AAP.
So there you have it: a free flu vaccine should be coming in hot for loads of people.
Go get your sexy little jab and prep yourself for a Hot Girl Winter instead of Mucus Monster Winter.