All NSW residents will be able to get a free flu jab at GPs and pharmacies between June 1 and June 30.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said 1,140 cases of the respiratory illness were notified this week, compared to 766 in the previous week and 150 presentations and admissions to hospitals.
“We urge everyone over the age of six months to get a flu shot as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones, as the virus spreads easily and is potentially fatal,” Chant said.
“This is especially important for those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and children between the ages of six months and five years. If you live in an aged or disability care facility, are over the age of 65, or are immunocompromised, now is the time to book.
“We also recommend a COVID-19 winter booster if you are eligible, as both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.”
Over the weekend, Western Australia and South Australia announced similar policies.
WA residents of all ages will be able to get their free influenza jab at state-run clinics or participating pharmacies and GPs starting Wednesday.
In South Australia, people over the age of five can visit their local GP or pharmacy to get their vaccine vaccinated free of charge.
SA Premier Peter Malinouskas said his state program was expected to cost $4.9 million.
“The dual challenge of widespread community spread of COVID-19 and influenza at the same time during the winter is putting further pressure on the hospital system already facing significant demand,” Mr Malinouskas said in a statement on Sunday. threatens.”
“We must do everything possible to ensure that as many South Australians as possible are immunized against both COVID and influenza to reduce pressure on our hospitals.”
There have been 1,195 confirmed cases of influenza in South Africa this year, compared to 12 for the same period last year.
WA had 194 flu cases in 2022, with only 20 percent of West Australians receiving the flu jab so far this year.
“After two years of very few flu cases, I urge all Western Australians to come forward to protect themselves before the worst of winter,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement.
This comes after Queensland made influenza vaccines free for everyone aged six months and older.
In NSW they will be free of charge during June through GPs and pharmacists for those five years and above, while Victoria is considering similar arrangements and other states and territories are likely to follow.
NSW Pharmacy Guild President David Heffernan said on Sunday that the state’s decision to go ahead with the program underscored its commitment to protecting residents in what is emerging as a very severe flu season.
“It is important to harness the immunization potential of community pharmacists to tackle all avoidable hospitalizations,” he said.
COVID-19 deaths on the rise
COVID-19 deaths are on the rise again, with Australia recording 88 deaths over the weekend.
Victoria on Sunday reported more than 7,300 new virus cases and 16 deaths, with NSW accounting for more than 6,500 infections and four deaths.
There were 3,047 cases and two deaths in Queensland, 7,100 infections and seven deaths in Western Australia and one in Tasmania.
It follows the nation reporting a total of 58 deaths on Saturday with nearly 34,000 cases.
Australia’s active virus caseload stands at around 305,000, with more than 2,700 patients recovering in hospitals.
Meanwhile, one of Australia’s leading charities has warned that the impact of COVID-19 on children’s education is not over.
One in two parents and caregivers in a Smith family survey think the pandemic is still making learning difficult for their children.
Roughly three-quarters of parents and caregivers are concerned about their children’s future school work and have struggled to help them during the pandemic.
Two-thirds say the virus has made it difficult to start school this year.
The report comes as the charity closes its latest winter appeal, hoping to raise $5.4 million nationally to support 12,000 students through mentoring and after-school programs.