With the 2020 flu season not far away, Federal Nationals Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton is encouraging people to book in for a vaccination against seasonal influenza during April – particularly those in vulnerable groups or age brackets.

The vaccination, which can be arranged by a GP, pharmacist or aged care provider, is recommended by medical experts.

“We currently find ourselves in extraordinary times as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year it’s even more important to be vigilant about the flu,” Mr Coulton said.

“Expert medical advice is that everyone aged six months and over should be vaccinated against influenza to protect themselves and others.”

Last year was the longest flu season on record and in 2017 more than 650 people in NSW died from flu-related conditions.

It’s also important to remember that from May 1, all aged care workers and visitors must have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza to enter an aged care facility.

The Australian Government has invested more than $80 million to provide more free vaccines under the National Immunisation Program in 2020 than ever before. This Program provides free vaccines to those most at risk, including:

• Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy;
• All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older;
• People aged 65 years and older;
• People aged six months and older with certain medical risk factors; and
• For the first time, all children aged between six months and five years.

“Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there are strong national requirements for all Australians to stay home unless they are undertaking essential activities, however it is permissible to leave home for medical or other health care needs, including attending an appointment for a flu vaccine,” Mr Coulton said.