- Influenza vaccinations more important than ever, in light of COVID-19
- New public awareness campaign to highlight importance of influenza vaccines
- First short-term drive through flu clinic to be established in Perth late May
- McGowan Government leads way with $400,000 to expand vaccination program
- Free influenza vaccinations available to primary school aged children
- There is no vaccination for COVID-19, but there is for influenza
Western Australians have been called on to book a flu vaccination over the coming weeks to protect themselves and others from becoming unwell through the launch of a new public awareness campaign.
It is more important than ever to be vaccinated this year - especially if the influenza season overlaps with COVID-19 cases.
In an Australian first, a short-term 'drive through' influenza clinic is being established for some at risk community members, which will be held in the Perth metropolitan area late May.
The McGowan Government is also the first State to provide free influenza vaccinations to primary school children who had the highest rate of influenza infection last year.
Funding of $400,000 has been set aside for the primary school aged children vaccination program.
While there has been an 80 per cent increase in early influenza vaccination uptake this year, those people who have not received a 'flu jab' are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
Taking action over the coming weeks to get vaccinated will help to take pressure off WA's health care system and hospitals as the influenza season progresses.
Already more than 348,000 Western Australians have received an influenza vaccination and the Department of Health has observed that older people in the Great Southern and Mid-West have achieved over 50 per cent vaccination rate already.
Last year WA experienced an unprecedented influenza season, which started earlier than previous years, resulting in a significant increase in notifications, hospitalisations and deaths.
2019 WA influenza statistics:
- 22,000 confirmed cases - 3,343 were children aged between 5-9 years
- 3,224 hospital admissions
- 80 deaths - five of which were children aged 10 and under.
For more information and advice and to view the campaign visit https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/influenzavaccine
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"It's never been more important for people get vaccinated for influenza to help protect themselves, their loved ones and those around them from becoming unwell.
"Protect yourself and others by booking in a flu vaccination over the coming weeks. This is particularly vital for those in the community who are most vulnerable, such as the elderly and the immuno-compromised."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"Last year WA experienced an unprecedented influenza season, with 22,000 confirmed cases. We need to prevent that from happening again this year.
"While there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, there is one for influenza and vaccination remains the best defense. If you haven't already had your flu shot doing so will also relieve pressure on hospitals and the WA health care system during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
"Please make an appointment over the coming weeks to schedule in your flu vaccination. If you can't get in straight away, please be patient - while there is plenty of vaccine available we are experiencing a high level of demand and there may be some delays in accessing the vaccine."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500