Flu Vaccination: Free vaccinations for NSW residents in June

Another state has joined the push to vaccinate its population against the flu ahead of what should be a severe flu season.

NSW is the latest state to offer residents a free flu shot before the colder months as health authorities begin to worry about cases already on the rise.

A month-long vaccination blitz will take place June 1-30 in an effort to protect the population from an expected severe flu season.

In the past week, 1140 cases of respiratory disease have been reported in NSW, compared to just 766 cases the week before.

“We strongly urge all those over six months of age to get a flu shot as soon as possible to protect themselves and loved ones, as the virus is easily spread and potentially deadly,” said medical director Kerry Chant.

NSW will join the flu vaccination programs already announced in Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.

Vice President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Chris Moy spoke to ABC News Breakfast on Monday expressing a sense of complacency towards both Covid and the flu.

“I think this is a big wake-up call after the kind of mass illusion that was created in the election that there wasn’t a hospital problem,” said Dr. Moy.

“We are entering the first real flu season in three years with 3,000 people in hospital with Covid at the same time.”

He reminded people of the new antiviral treatments that have entered the market and are effective treatments for both severe COVID-19 and flu symptoms after seeking early advice from your GP.

“We need to make sure people are well and don’t end up in hospital because our hospitals are under tremendous pressure,” said Dr. Moy.

High-risk groups such as children between the ages of six months and five, people living in an aged or disabled care facility, people over the age of 65, and the immunocompromised are all advised to get vaccinated.

A Covid-19 “winter” booster is available for those who are severely immunocompromised and can be taken at the same time as the flu shot.

Pharmacies will be added to the state government program to provide flu shots along with general practices.

The National Flu Vaccination Program already provides free vaccines to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islands with serious health conditions including severe asthma, diabetes and cancer, as well as pregnant women.

Health authorities remind people that staying home when they are sick and washing their hands regularly are easy ways to reduce the spread of the flu.

Originally published as The NSW government will launch free flu shots in June