The Liberal National Government will ensure 170,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents are vaccinated against the flu for free and additionally provide a $12 million to boost a national immunisation education campaign.
Seasonal influenza vaccines will be available at no cost through the National Immunisation Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents for the first time.
As a result of this measure, almost 170,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents aged five to 14 years of age will now be able to access an influenza vaccine at no cost.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a significantly higher burden from influenza infection and are much more likely to be hospitalised with this disease.
This announcement follows a recommendation from the independent medical experts at the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and contributes to our Government’s Close the Gap agenda.
An additional $12 million will also be spent over the next three years to expand the reach of the successful Get the Facts about immunisation campaign.
The current campaign will be expanded into national television advertising to raise awareness of the benefits and importance of immunisation.
This brings the total investment in this campaign to $20 million over six years, and shows our Government’s commitment to supporting parents make informed decisions by providing evidence based information about immunisation.
The campaign was launch in 2017 by our Government to encourage Australian parents and carers to get their kids vaccinated.