Vaccines help reduce flu rates
AUSTRALIA has the lowest rates of influenza in half a decade after a massive increase in people getting the flu shot.
Only 52,000 cases of the flu were reported so far this year, compared with almost 250,000 last year — the most flu reports in almost a decade.
A record 11 million Australians had a flu jab in 2018 — almost a third more than 2017.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said new enhanced vaccines were made available for elderly Australians, ensuring more people received the flu shot.
“More than 3.4 million more doses of the influenza vaccine were made available, enough to vaccinate more than 85 per cent of all individuals aged 65 years and older,” Mr Hunt said.
“There was also unprecedented demand for influenza vaccine early in the 2018 season, which led the government to secure an additional 1.3 million doses of the vaccine for the National Immunisation Program, state programs and the private market.
“Delivering vaccines to people in most need of protection would not have been possible without the collaboration between GPs and other vaccination providers across Australia.”