Member for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman was pleased to welcome The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport to Northbridge Medical Practice this morning for the launch of the 2017 National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Vaccinations to protect Australians against four strains of this year’s influenza virus are now available – and are free of charge to those in the most vulnerable group of getting sick this flu season,” Minister Hunt said.

“I urge local residents to consider getting a flu shot this year. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for any person six months of age and older. It is an important message and I am pleased the Minister has chosen our community to launch this important program,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“It’s important to get the flu shot annually, as the virus changes year to year.”

“High vaccination rates contribute to a healthy society. That’s why in 2017, through the National Immunisation Program (NIP), the Turnbull Government will provide more than 4.5 million doses of the influenza vaccine for free.”

“Flu shots are available at general practices and other vaccination providers. They’re also available for purchase at many pharmacies. I encourage our local residents over the age of 65 or those that meet the other criteria to make an appointment,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.

Some important points to consider:

  • Under the NIP, those eligible for a free flu shot include people aged 65 years and over, most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and those who suffer from chronic conditions.
  • Pregnant women are also eligible for a free flu shot. It’s safe to receive at any stage of pregnancy and not only protects Mum, but baby too.
  • Vaccinating from April allows people to develop immunity before transmission of the virus increases from June, with the peak being around August.

Influenza vaccines are age-specific, so ask your doctor about the best vaccine for you or your child’s circumstances.