SA latest government to offer free flu vaccinations for young children

Doug Hendrie

24/04/2018 1:37:33 PM

Every state and territory bar the Northern Territory now offer the free shot for children between six months and five years in the wake of a horrific flu season in 2017.

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The RACGP has previously called for the flu vaccine to be free for all Australians.

South Australia’s recently elected Liberal government announced that 90,000 flu vaccines had been sourced to roll out the program across the state.
However, there are concerns the program may come too late to stave off the regular flu season, which starts in May. State Health Minister Stephen Wade told the ABC that the flu was one of the most common causes of hospitalisation for children.
‘And children are one of the key transmission factors in terms of influenza conditions,’ he said.
The RACGP has repeatedly called for the flu vaccine to be free for all Australians.
More than a thousand people died of the flu in 2017. Most were older people, but the virus also took the life of an eight year old girl. The 2017 flu season was the worst since the flu pandemic of 2009, with more than double the usual number of people admitted to hospital with influenza.
People over 65 are already widely eligible for free flu vaccines, as they are particularly susceptible. Stronger flu vaccines have been rolled out for older people to address their weaker immune responses.

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