NSW Health has already distributed a record 2.89 million federally supplied doses of flu vaccine across the state as of 9 June, which is almost one million more doses than distributed in the same period last year. That includes more than 1.3 million doses of Fluad Quad, the vaccine for people aged 65 and over, which is enough to vaccinate 110 per cent of this age cohort.
NSW influenza levels are much lower than previous years, with 44 notifications in May compared to an average of around 2000 in the same period over the last five years. This represents a drop of 94%. There were no cases of influenza notified in Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District during April or May and, to date, there have been none in June.
The low levels are likely due to social distancing measures, better hand hygiene and high levels of vaccination. However, vaccination remains the best protection against influenza and NSW Health still recommends vaccination against flu for people who have not been vaccinated.
Free influenza vaccinations are available under the National Immunisation Program for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, Aboriginal people and those with at-risk medical conditions. The free NSW-funded vaccine is also available to all children aged six months to under five years.
Businesses, including pharmacies and GPs, may also order and secure their own private supplies of influenza vaccine for patients not eligible for the National Immunisation Program. NSW Health does not have any oversight on private market supplies.
As always, it is recommended people call ahead and book in with their GP or Pharmacy.
A list of GP practices that have advised NSW Health that they have available flu vaccines is regularly updated and available here.
The NSW Government has invested approximately $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.
For more information on the influenza vaccination program, visit the NSW Health website.