13:34, 27/02/2018: Sadly, winter is just around the corner, and that means the flu season isn’t far away either, so I’m very proud to report that one of the many innovative companies based in Bennelong, Sanofi, has created the high-dose vaccine which the government is providing free to those over 65—praise the Lord! What is incredible about this vaccine, aside from the government providing it free to millions of Australians over 65, is the protection it offers beyond influenza. Influenza is well established as a cause of primary and secondary pneumonia, but the Fluzone vaccine reduces influenza rates by as much as 39.8 per cent, as well as reducing associated complications like heart attack. This is an incredible result.
The year 2017 was disastrous for the flu. Nearly 250,000 people had it, and 22 per cent of those were over aged 65—that’s me again. Nearly 7,000 of those were still in the workforce, although at times they were not, so cumulatively they took approximately 20,000 days off work—a huge cost to the economy. Furthermore, across the community, 29,000 people were admitted to hospital. The costs associated with the 2017 flu were incredible and underline why we all must put more emphasis on prevention rather than cure. So thank you to Sanofi for creating this incredible vaccine and congratulations to the government for providing it free to those— (Time expired)