Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

15 April 2019

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

Prevention is better than the cure: Get vaccinated now before the flu season hits

With the expected flu season just around the corner, Tasmanians are being urged to book in for a vaccination now.

The Liberal Government has been making significant policy changes to improve the availability and uptake of the flu vaccine. Last year, Tasmania had the highest vaccination rate of any state at around 30 per cent of the population, and we want to see that trend continue to improve.

It is important to receive a flu vaccine every year because flu immunity is short-lived and the mix of influenza viruses changes each year. Vaccinating provides the best protection against the flu and reduces the likelihood of contracting the virus and its sometimes severe complications.

Public Health Services advises that now is the best time to get the vaccine as our flu season usually starts in June or July and peaks around August.

Flu vaccine is free to protect those at highest risk of severe disease, including:

  • People aged 65 years and over.
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged over six months.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions such as lung or heart disease, severe asthma, impaired immunity or diabetes. All these conditions increase the risk of flu complications.
  • Children from six months to less than five years can receive a free State Government-funded flu vaccine again this year.

Even healthy children under five are more likely to contract severe flu leading to a hospital admission, which is why it is so important they receive their vaccination.

See your GP or some pharmacists for the vaccine or visit www.flu.tas.gov.au for more information.

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