(For general update about Flu and vaccine information please read our April blog).
The RACGP and Australian Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, are currently advising the Government on the timing of the launch of the Federal and State government higher risk group FREE influenza immunisation program.
We now expect this program to be rolled out in late April or early May 2018.
These vaccine programs specifically target high risk population groups in our community, including those with compromised immune systems or those who are pregnant. This also includes those aged over 65, for whom the vaccine this year is a different brand and higher strength. This over 65 vaccine is different again to the free flu vaccine being provided in 2018 for children under 5 years of age.
The vaccine timing is thought to counter the fact that individual vaccine protection can start to slowly reduce in their maximum effectiveness from about 4 months from administration. In Melbourne usually, peak flu season is from June-September, with August predicted again to be the worst month.
Our clinic now has private flu vaccine available for our travelers or those who may have specific health requirements, so please discuss this with your doctor.