More flu shots to be distributed throughout Greater Shepparton

By Morgan Dyer

Greater Shepparton community pharmacies and general practitioners will soon have more flu shots in stock as the Federal Government is set to distribute more three million extra doses.

In recent weeks many people have had to wait for their shot as the demand for the vaccine is three times greater than at this time last year.

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said the Federal Government’s efforts to secure an extra 3.5 million doses was good news.

“Many pharmacies in our region last week were running low or were out of their initial doses because of huge demand,” Ms Ryan said.

“This resulted in people having to put their name down on a waiting lists for the vaccination.

“As a result, I wrote to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to ask him to fast track doses of the flu vaccine for local pharmacies and GP clinics.”

Ms Ryan said local pharmacies rapidly used their initial doses of the vaccine after people heeded the advice of the government and the media to protect themselves against influenza.

“In a normal year most doses are administered between mid-April and through May, but many people are taking the advice of government to get the vaccine early,” Ms Ryan said.

“I’m pleased the Federal Government has recognised the importance of making more early doses available to reduce the waiting time for locals who want to get vaccinated early.”

While the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, influenza can cause serious respiratory problems and can be deadly, especially for vulnerable people.

The extra vaccines brings the total number of flu vaccines available for Australians to 16.5 million for 2020.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said about 7.6 million flu vaccinations would be available through GPs, community pharmacies and other vaccination providers, while the other 8.6 million would be used for the National Immunisation Program.

In Victoria, people aged six months to five years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pregnant women, people aged 65 years and older and people aged six months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza can access the flu shot for free.

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