Government urged to subsidise flu shot for under five-year-olds

Morgan Liotta

30/08/2019 3:27:01 PM

The Victorian Health Minister echoes PBAC recommendations to include flu vaccinations for children under five years.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos says Australia is a ‘step closer’ to seeing free flu shots for all children under the age of five years.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recently recommended that the quadrivalent influenza vaccine flu vaccination be listed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the prevention of seasonal influenza in children aged six months to five years, as well as for individuals currently eligible for seasonal influenza vaccination through the NIP.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said on Twitter that this is a vital step in preparing for the next flu season and one that can save lives.

‘Vaccinations are safe, effective and they save lives – all Victorians should be vaccinated against the spread of dangerous diseases,’ Minister Mikakos said in a statement.
The 2019 flu season has so far claimed over 400 lives nationally, but the number of deaths does not represent the true mortality associated with the disease. Older people and children under the age of five are most at risk.
The Victorian Government reports there have been 49,329 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in the state this year, with 105 deaths, including seven children.
Despite these figures, latest data shows that Victoria has the highest rates of immunisation, with 95.7% of all five-year-olds in the state now fully immunised.
Minister Mikakos backs the PBAC recommendations to include free flu vaccination for all children on the NIP, appealing to the Federal Government to act now.
‘The flu can be particularly dangerous for young children ... The PBAC is saying it’s time – they [the Federal Government] need to listen,’ she said.
‘We’re another step closer to seeing the flu shot for all kids under five on the NIP, where it belongs.’

flu influenza National Immunisation Program vaccinations Victoria

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