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Free flu vaccinations for Queenslanders in 2024


Michelle Wisbey


2/11/2023 4:00:06 PM

Every resident in the state older than six months will be eligible next year, and the RACGP has called on other states to follow suit.

Doctor giving a patient a flu vaccine.
More than 258,000 laboratory cases of influenza have been reported across Australia so far this year.

With just one-third of Queenslanders currently vaccinated against influenza, the State Government has announced a $40 million funding injection aimed at boosting those numbers.
 
The program will begin at the start of the 2024 flu season, and aim to lessen pressure on emergency departments and ease cost of living burdens for families.
 
Queensland’s subsidised flu programs have already seen almost one million people receive a free vaccine in 2022 and 2023.
 
RACGP Vice-President and Queensland Chair Dr Bruce Willett applauded the move and encouraged other governments to follow the state’s lead.
 
‘Vaccination is our best protection against influenza, and the most effective way to prevent deaths and serious illness,’ he said. 
 
‘The Queensland Government’s early announcement of free flu jabs for everyone next flu season is a forward-thinking and sensible policy.
 
‘It’s much better to be proactive, rather than waiting until the flu season is underway.’
 
The State Government said it has also begun work on a new immunisation campaign lobbying for an expansion of the National Immunisation Program (NIP) to cover more Australians’ flu vaccine costs.
 
State Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the program will provide Queenslanders with certainty and remove any financial barriers for people wanting to get vaccinated.
 
‘Nearly all cases of people presenting to hospital with the flu had not been vaccinated, this puts significant pressure on our emergency departments,’ she said.
 
‘Making it free from the start of the flu season is designed to help keep people safe and ensure our health system is available for Queenslanders who need it most.
 
‘Ultimately, we would like the flu vaccination to be free for everyone as part of the Commonwealth’s NIP and I’ll continue advocating for that.’
 
According to the latest national immunisation data, 9.3 million Australians were vaccinated against the flu between 1 March and 3 October this year – 16% less than the same period in 2022.
 
More than 258,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza have been reported so far in 2023.
 
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