Tasmania, Australia announce free flu vaccinations for children
The vaccine covers four strains of influenza virus; two A strains and two B strains.
Tasmania has announced free flu vaccinations for children from the age of six months to less than 5 years old this year. Children in that age are not only prone to catching and spreading flu but it can lead to severe complications due to low levels of immunity.
The Government said in a press release that "We want every child under five to have the chance to be protected against the flu. By being vaccinated a young child is less likely to get the flu or end up with severe complications from the flu."
Children who have never had a flu vaccination will need two doses, one month apart. The vaccine covers four strains of influenza virus; two A strains and two B strains, and will be available from GPs from April.
Free vaccines for flu were already available for other sections of the society through the National Immunisation Program, including:
- People aged 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic medical conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months to less than five years and aged fifteen years and older
The press release further added, "Getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best protection we have against flu, and I urge Tasmanians, particularly people vulnerable to severe flu, to get vaccinated to help protect themselves, their family and our community."
(Based on Tasmanian Government press release)