Media event date: 
17 April 2020
Date published: 
17 April 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Staff and residents of aged care facilities across Australia are being urged to roll up their sleeves for flu vaccinations under a sweeping campaign to protect their health. 

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, said it is particularly important staff and residents of residential aged care facilities received the flu vaccination this season as the fight to combat the spread of COVID-19 continues.

“The Government has asked Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across Australia to assist in the coordination of flu vaccinations in their region,” Minister Colbeck said. 

“This health emergency is unprecedented and as we edge closer to winter we want to make sure staff and residents have the protection of the flu vaccination.”

PHNs will contact all residential aged care providers by region to undertake a needs assessment and coordinate influenza vaccination programs for those services with an identified need.

The provisions may include sourcing vaccine supply and supplying qualified vaccine administrators.

“With their considerable local knowledge and on-the-ground expertise, PHNs will deliver this essential service for the benefit of aged care workers and the Senior Australians in their care,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The flu vaccination is an important way we can make sure people stay healthy and don’t end up in the emergency department which could over‑burden our hospitals during the COVID‑19 pandemic.”

The key decision-maker for health emergencies, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee recommended all residential aged care staff and visitors – including family, friends or external workers - be vaccinated by 1 May 2020.

More information about the vaccination program is available on the Department of Health website.