Flu shot more important than ever for Queenslanders

Flu shot more important than ever for Queenslanders

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles and Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young rolled up their sleeves today to receive their 2020 flu shot.

The Premier said it was vital Queenslanders get their flu shot this year to avoid the chance of getting COVID-19 and flu at the same time.

“Every year, we encourage Queenslanders to roll up their sleeves and protect themselves against the flu, and this year this is more important than ever,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Sadly, we know the flu can be deadly, and with the ongoing threat COVID-19 has on our communities, it is so important we do everything possible to reduce the risk of contracting both illnesses at the same time.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said distribution of flu vaccines had started in March.

“Government-funded flu vaccines are currently being distributed and eligible Queenslanders should book an appointment to get vaccinated,” Minister Miles said.

“This year, all flu vaccines offer protection against four strains of influenza, including the vaccine for those aged over 65.

“We don’t want to see anyone contract both COVID-19 and influenza at the same time as both illnesses can be serious on their own.

“It is also vital to help reduce the number of influenza related hospitalisations that put a strain on the health system.”

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said those not eligible for the free vaccine should still book an appointment with their GP, pharmacist immuniser, or as part of their workplace program (if available) to get vaccinated. Demand for influenza vaccine is high so please check with your immunisation provider when making an appointment to make sure they have the vaccine available.

“Although the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce the severity and spread of influenza, which may make a person more susceptible to other respiratory illnesses like COVID-19,” Dr Young said.

“It is also important to get vaccinated to prevent possible influenza-related hospitalisations at a time when the pandemic may put unprecedented pressure on our public health system.

“Flu season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August.”

Queenslanders eligible for the government-funded influenza vaccine can access it from their doctor or immunisation provider.

Those eligible for the funded vaccine are:

  • pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
  • persons 65 years of age or older
  • children 6 months of age to less than 5 years
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander aged 6 months and older
  • People six months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.

All other Queenslanders can obtain the influenza vaccination from their doctor, immunisation provider or some community pharmacies.

For more information on the influenza vaccine or getting vaccinated, please contact your health care provider.

ENDS

Media contact:

Zoe Russell 0439 982 347

Last updated:
28 April 2020