Get vaccinated before flu season hits

Government-funded flu vaccine is now available for eligible Tasmanians over six months old ahead of this year’s flu season.

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch said flu vaccine reduces the likelihood of flu and its severe complications.

“Now is the best time to get the vaccine as our flu season usually starts in June or July and peaks around August," Dr Veitch said.

“Last year, Tasmania had the highest vaccination rate of any state; however, you need flu vaccine every year because flu immunity is short-lived and the mix of influenza viruses changes each year."

Flu vaccine is free to protect those at highest risk of severe disease:

  • People aged 65 years and over.
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged over six months.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions such as lung or heart disease, severe asthma, impaired immunity or diabetes. All these conditions increase the risk of flu complications.

"Children from six months to less than five years can get a free State Government-funded flu vaccine again this year.

“Even healthy children under five are more likely to get severe flu leading to hospital admission,” Dr Veitch warned.

See your GP or some pharmacists for the vaccine or visit www.flu.tas.gov.au for more information.