Flu vaccine expansion considered

The State Government is exploring opportunities to further improve access to government-funded seasonal flu vaccines for older South Australians. Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said an expert advisory group is being established to consider the expansion of the distribution of National Immunisation Program (NIP) influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years and over to South Australian community pharmacies from next year.

“This is the population group that is most at risk of complications from the flu, yet they are not able to access their free vaccine from a pharmacy,” Minister Wade said. “While general practitioners (GPs) are and will remain the central point for immunisation, the advisory group will explore the opportunity to provide older South Australians with improved convenience, access and choice.”

So far this year, more than 517,360 funded influenza vaccines have been distributed to immunisation providers – enough to vaccinate 77% of the total eligible population. There have been 16 cases of influenza notified in SA this year, compared to 1551 at the same time last year.

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