ACT Health is working to ensure that stocks are available for Canberrans most vulnerable after record demand for flu vaccination across Australia has caused national supply constraints.
ACT chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly says there’s currently sufficient vaccine stock to meet the needs of high risk groups.
“[We] encourage these people to make an appointment with their provider as soon as possible to get vaccinated,” he says.
“Our focus right now is on ensuring that people who are at increased risk of complications from influenza have access to the flu vaccine.”
High risk groups are:
o pregnant women
o children aged 6 months to under 5 years
o adults aged 65 years and over
o Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons aged 15 years and over
o all persons aged 6 months and over who have certain medical conditions that increase risk, e.g. severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes.
“ACT Health is undertaking an inventory of all stock in the community and bringing excess flu vaccine back into our central store in order to redistribute it according to need,” Dr Kelly says.
“Our vaccination program for kids aged 6 months to under 5 years is going well. There are currently no constraints on this program and we encourage parents to get their children vaccinated through their usual provider.
“The ACT Health Immunisation Section has delivered more vaccines to date in 2018 compared to all of last year; 79,500 vaccines have so far been distributed, compared with 57,000 for the whole of 2017.”