01 Mar New Vaccinations for Over-65s
Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced that, in 2018, the Government would fund two new flu vaccines in an effort to further protect the elderly. Of the 1,100 Australians who died last year from flu-related causes, 90 per cent were aged 65 and over.
The National Immunisation Program provides free influenza vaccines for the elderly, as well as other high-risk groups including pregnant women, those with chronic disease, and Indigenous Australians. Currently, the program supports the standard influenza vaccine. In 2018, FluZone High Dose (a high-dose vaccine), and Fluad (with an added adjuvant) will be supported by the program, and available to the groups above for free.
Both vaccines are safe, but commonly cause mild side-effects, and very rarely can cause serious side-effects. Side-effects are mild and don’t last long. In many people they cause a sore arm and, less commonly, a fever. The side-effects of these new flu vaccines are slightly more common than with standard vaccines. None of the flu vaccines used in Australia contains live virus and therefore can’t cause flu infection. People with allergies should discuss flu vaccines with their doctor. In the past, there has been concern the flu vaccines, which are manufactured in eggs, may elicit allergic reactions in people with egg allergy.
The vaccination season (April to June) usually occurs around the same time as when another respiratory virus (RSV) circulates, so this respiratory infection is commonly misattributed to vaccination.
Cheng, A., Mr. (2018, February 20). What you need to know about Fluad and FluZone High Dose, the new flu vaccines for over-65s. Retrieved March 1, 2018, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-19/fluad-fluzone-flu-vaccines-for-over-65s-what-you-need-to-know/9461766