Penrith residents are encouraged to roll up their sleeves this month and get a free flu shot in an effort to combat this year’s expected severe influenza season. With a sharp increase in flu cases already, the NSW Government will fund flu vaccinations at GPs and pharmacies until June 30.
Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith said ensuring everyone over six months of age in your family is protected ahead of the winter flu season will be crucial, as experts warn of a severe influenza season.
“This NSW Government initiative will mean the flu vaccination will be free for everyone, not just the high-risk groups for whom it is free each year, such as the elderly and children aged six months to five years,” Stuart Ayres said.
“Flu vaccination is particularly important for those in high-risk groups, so if you live in an aged or disability care facility, are aged over 65 or are immunocompromised, now is the time to book in.”
“The month of June is a great opportunity for the local community to take the necessary precautions and to protect themselves and each other this winter – get your free flu shot.”
The flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time and a COVID-19 winter booster is recommended if you are eligible.
The Commonwealth Government provides vaccines for vulnerable populations, and funds GPs through the MBS to administer vaccines. However, as COVID-19 has taught us, the role of pharmacies is crucial and the NSW Government is funding community pharmacies to deliver influenza vaccinations this June.
NSW Health has also permitted pharmacies to administer flu vaccines to children aged five years old, reduced from 10 years, making it easier for families to be vaccinated together. GPs will be reimbursed for any flu stock they have already purchased that is used in the month of June for this vaccination program.
The Commonwealth Government provides free flu vaccine for those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from the flu, including:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months of age,
- Children from six months to under five years of age,
- People with serious health conditions,
- Pregnant women, and
- People aged 65 and over.
Other protective measures individuals can take include staying at home if sick and washing your hands. Find out more about how to protect yourself from the flu at nsw.gov.au/flu