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Free flu vaccine campaign’s success to continue

Free flu vaccine campaign’s success to continue

South Australians will now have access to free flu vaccination until the end of winter, with the Government announcing an extension to the program.

The program will continue until August 31 to give people even more opportunity to protect themselves and their families against the flu – and help ease pressure on our hospitals facing the unprecedented challenge of influenza and COVID-19 at the same time.

More than 240,000 South Australians have received their free flu shot since the campaign was launched on 29 May, the first of its kind in the state’s history.

More than 850,000 flu vaccines have been administered in South Australia so far this year, compared with 779,000 at the same time last year – and 787,000 doses overall for 2021.

This latest extension follows big boosts in the number of children aged 5 years or younger getting vaccinated (18,578 doses recorded since 29 May); people under 65 (183,955): and those over 65 (38,226).

The program is a driving force in South Australia leading the way for influenza vaccination, as new data shows our population has the highest uptake rate in the nation.

Nearly half of South Australians (48 per cent) have had their flu shot compared to Victoria (44 per cent), New South Wales (41 per cent) and Queensland (39 per cent).

Jurisdiction

% Vaccinated

South Australia

48%

ACT

47%

Tasmania

47%

Victoria

44%

New South Wales

41%

Queensland

39%

Western Australia

38%

Northern Territory

32%

Source: Australian Immunisation Register, 29 July 2022

A free flu shot and an updated COVID vaccine are both widely available at hundreds of GP clinics and pharmacies across the state.

The uptake comes as the number of flu cases recorded in South Australia reached 10,280 cases as of 28 July, compared with 16 at the same time last year. 483 cases were recorded in the past week, with a median age of 25 years in the past week.

There have been 37 hospitalisations in the past week, with 929 requiring hospital admission this year. No deaths from influenza have been reported.

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