Families across regional NSW will have more access to influenza vaccinations with the lowering of the age pharmacists can administer flu jabs to children from 16 years to 10 years.

NSW Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said this was fantastic news for families with more options to protect their children against flu, given the increasing concern of a COVID-19 pandemic with winter flu.

“I know many families will be concerned with the safety of their loved ones and while this access to the flu vaccine won’t combat COVID-19, it will help reduce the severity and spread of flu, which can lower a person’s immunity and make them susceptible to other illnesses,” Mr Anderson said.

“By allowing pharmacists to administer privately-purchased flu vaccines to people aged 10 years and over, families now have more choice when booking in for a flu jab.

“Last year was the longest flu season on record and in 2017 more than 650 people in NSW died from flu-related conditions, and now we have COVID-19.

“This year’s flu vaccine will be specifically tailored to the strains we expect will pose the greatest risk but as always, call ahead to ensure your GP or pharmacist has your dose.”

The move potentially allows entire families to be vaccinated in a pharmacy. With ‘herd immunity’ considered an important factor in flu prevention – particularly when children are exposed to a range of bugs at school – more vaccinations could improve winter health.

NSW was the first state to bring the vaccination age down to 16 years and now it has dropped it down to 10 years, this will result in a far better immunity coverage. Most pharmacies in larger regional centres can provide vaccination services, but it always pays to check ahead before requesting your flu shots.