Free flu vaccination available now

After a significant flu season in 2023 its important everyone, particularly those who are pregnant, have a chronic illness, are over the age of 65, or under five, accesses the free vaccine before this year's flu season begins, AMA Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton told 7NEWS Brisbane.

Transcript: AMA Queensland President, Dr Maria Boulton, 7NEWS Brisbane, 4pm News with Katrina Blowers, Tuesday 2 April 2024

Subject: Free influenza vaccines

KATRINA BLOWERS:   Queenslanders are being urged to protect themselves against a dangerous flu season, with the State Government today rolling out free vaccinations. For more, I'm joined by Australian Medical Association Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton. Dr Boulton, welcome. How welcome is this State Government program ahead of the flu season?

DR MARIA BOULTON:   Good afternoon, Katrina. This program is most welcome. And it's really good to see that the Queensland State Government is ensuring that all Queenslanders have access to these free flu vaccines. It's also really good to see that they have listened and made sure that these vaccines are available from the start of the flu season.

KATRINA BLOWERS:   More than 700 people have already been hospitalised with influenza across the state this year, though. That's pretty concerning. So how serious are we expecting the peak of this year's flu season will be?

DR MARIA BOULTON:   We had a significant flu season last year, and it looks like this year might also be a significant season. It’s really important for people to listen and ensure they do have access to that flu vaccine because we know that it reduces the risk of severe disease, which is particularly important for people who are in the vulnerable category. So, for example, people who are pregnant, who have a chronic illness, who are over the age of 65, and also children under the age of five.

KATRINA BLOWERS:   What do you think Queenslanders who haven't been vaccinated for influenza this year need to know about accessing a jab?

DR MARIA BOULTON:   We are seeing stock of flu vaccines arrive at all GP clinics now, so we have lots of stock in our fridge. We may still be waiting for some particular vaccines - for example, at my clinic we're still waiting for the vaccines for those under the age of five. But all you need to do is make sure that you ring your GP or book online and ask whether the flu vaccine for your particular age group is available yet. And if it is, we do encourage you to make that appointment.

If you have questions about the flu vaccine, all you need to do is ask your GP, and also make sure that all the rest of your vaccinations are up to date.

KATRINA BLOWERS:   Yes, an early flu jab is a good flu jab. Dr Boulton, thank you for your time.

Related topics