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Time to vaccinate against the flu is now

3 June 2024

With flu cases doubling and influenza vaccines now delivered, National Pharmacies is urging South Australians, especially those aged 65 and over, not to wait any longer and book for a vaccination now.

For the first time in South Australia, free influenza vaccines for at-risk people can be accessed via participating community pharmacies like National Pharmacies.

The most recent official data is showing weekly reported influenza cases in SA have more than doubled compared to a month ago. 

While South Australia has a high vaccination rate compared to other states, the number of South Australians vaccinated so far this year is the lowest it’s been in four years.

 National Pharmacies Chief Pharmacist Bec Rogers said it was possible South Australia’s slower flu vax rate this year may be due to an unusually warm and dry Autumn.

“Unfortunately, the flu does not keep an eye on what the weather is doing and we expect influenza cases to continue to rise from June through to September.

“We are urging people to book in a vaccination now as it can take two to three weeks for the vaccine to work at its best.”

Ms Rogers said access to influenza vaccination this year had never been easier for at-risk South Australians under the National Immunisation Program.

Under the program, about 600,000 at-risk South Australians are eligible to receive a free influenza vaccination through participating community pharmacies, like National Pharmacies.

“Vaccination is the best protection against the severe consequences of influenza,” said Ms Rogers.

“We have flu vaccines available and ready to go across our 32 pharmacies in metro Adelaide and regional SA – Port Pirie, Port Lincoln and Victor Harbor,” she said.

At-risk South Australians eligible for a free flu jab at a pharmacy include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, First Nations peoples, and people with pre-existing health conditions, like asthma, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

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