Date published: 
22 May 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

I encourage Australians to get a flu shot to protect themselves against this year’s influenza virus with vaccines now available at GPs offices and community pharmacies.

Vaccination is the most effective way to protect individuals and the broader community from the flu.

It’s important to get vaccinated against influenza every year, as the virus changes year to year.

As at 21 May 2019, over 12.1 million doses of the seasonal influenza vaccines have been released into the market by the Australian Government for the 2019 Australian influenza season.

This includes over 7.5 million doses for the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and state and territory government schemes including 3.7 million doses of enhanced vaccines for those aged 65 years and over.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccine through the NIP include people aged 65 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older and people aged six months or older with certain medical conditions which put them at risk of severe influenza.

Pregnant women are also eligible for a free flu vaccine – it’s safe to receive at any stage of pregnancy to protect both mother and baby.

Immunisation is critical to maintaining public health and preventing the outbreak of infectious diseases.

Last year a record 11 million Australians got a flu shot and I hope that we reach another record this year.

For more information visit the Department of Health immunisation website.