As the flu season approaches for another year, for the first time all Indigenous Australians will be eligible for a free flu shot under the government’s national immunisation program.
Previously the program was only available to Indigenous people between 6 months and five-years-old and over 15-years-old. The Government’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy told SBS News there was “a lot of push” to introduce the program for Indigenous people of all ages.
“In general Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a much higher burden of disease with flu and they have high rates of population and they’re certainly much more affected,” he said.
The National Immunisation Program, which is open to pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, Australian’s with medical conditions that increase the risk of influenza and, now, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is expected to launch in mid-April.