20th February 2018
The Turnbull Government will provide two new ground-breaking flu vaccines to over 3 million Australians aged 65 years and over – free of charge.
These new vaccines will help provide stronger protection for over 65s in Bennelong. Member for Bennelong, John Alexander MP 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,” Mr Alexander said.“This is the Turnbull 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 Alexander said. “Local pharmaceutical companies and I have been strong advocates in ensuring the vaccines are made available to our most vulnerable.”
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 65s by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza,” Minister Hunt said. “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.”