NSW residents are being urged to book in for their flu vaccine without delay, with winter just a few days away and hospitals already seeing a surge in influenza cases.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW hospitals were facing a triple threat with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, a surge in flu cases and staff furloughing due to illness. “With almost no exposure to flu these past two years, it is imperative we all get a flu jab to protect ourselves and the community.”
NSW’s Chief Paediatrician Dr Matt O’Meara said there was particular concern for children aged six months to five years old, as young children were particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of flu.
Those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza are eligible for a free flu vaccine. This includes children from six months to under five years of age; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months of age; people with serious health conditions, pregnant women, and people aged 65 and over.
At the time of going to press, the minister was considering making the flu vaccine free for all NSW residents.