The Coalition Government will provide free of charge two new ground-breaking flu vaccines to more than 3 million Australians aged 65 years and over. These new vaccines will help provide stronger protection for over 65s in the New England electorate.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the vaccines have been fast-tracked to ensure lives are saved and that Australians over 65 years of age receive greater protection.
“More than 90 per cent of the 1,100 flu related deaths in 2017 were by people aged over 65 years of age. This is the Coalition Government’s direct response to last year’s horrific flu season and is aimed squarely at saving lives. We must continue to do all we can to protect those Australians who are most at risk,” Mr Joyce said.
The new vaccines - Fluad® and Fluzone High Dose® - were registered in Australia to specifically provide increased protection for people aged 65 years and older. From April, 2018 both vaccines will be available through the National Immunisation Program following a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Health Minister, Greg Hunt, said these new vaccines have been specifically made for the elderly, as their immune systems respond less effectively to vaccines.
“These new trivalent (three strain) vaccines work in over 65’s by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza. Vaccination saves lives and they are fundamental to our health system. We encourage all Australians aged over six months old to get a flu vaccination this year before the peak season starts in June.” Minister Hunt said.