Are you still waiting for your flu jab? Here’s why

Government explains why there’s a shortfall in vaccines.

Waiting for a flu jab? Here’s why

If you’ve tried to book in with your doctor for a flu shot but have been told to come back in a few weeks, here’s why.

A record 5.1 million doses of the vaccine have arrived in Australia under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), but a 30 per cent surge in demand has left federal health authorities both pleased that more people are heeding their warning and red-faced that there are not enough to go around – just yet.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Hobbs said in a statement: “According to states and territories, compared to last year, there has been a 25 to 30 per cent increase in demand.”

He told the ABC that despite providing an extra 1.3 million free vaccines in 2018 for those at risk, the Government was in the process of sourcing extra doses due to unprecedented demand.

"The forecasting (for demand) arrived at the 10 per cent figure, and it is very important for listeners to know that the Commonwealth is working very hard to source extra doses. There are 93,000 extra doses for the trivalent vaccine for the over-65s and that's arrived already," Dr Hobbs said.

"In early June, there will be an extra 144,000 doses of the quadrivalent vaccine for the general population. They will arrive in early June and will be released thereafter."

He reported that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) had already distributed 9.6 million doses of influenza vaccines under the immunisation program, state programs and the private market. In 2017, the TGA released 8.3 million doses.

"The Department of Health is working closely with states and territories to monitor availability of vaccines," Dr Hobbs said.

“The department is also working closely with company suppliers to ensure additional vaccines are brought into Australia.”

For the first time this year, people aged over 65 are being offered one of two influenza vaccines whose effectiveness has been significantly boosted.

Six different types of vaccines are being offered but two are recommended for older Australians and are known as trivalents. They are Fluzone High Dose by Sanofi-Aventis and Fluad by Seqirus.

In 2017, hospitals recorded a 50 per cent jump in admissions due to the flu. More than 221,000 flu infections were recorded around the nation – the highest ever – and many who had had a flu shot. This sounded alarm bells for health authorities, who determined that standard vaccines were probably not particularly effective in the elderly.

Have you tried to book in for a flu shot and been told to come back in a few weeks? Are you sure you’re getting the right vaccine?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    22nd May 2018
    Do you have any evidence of flu being passed on from people who have had flu as a result of having the flu jab?

    Our electrician who is about 60 had a bad bout of flu immediately after his jab. We are 65 and now this has put us off having the jab.
    Star Trekker
    22nd May 2018
    He probably already had the flu before he got the jab. I had my jab with no problems.
    22nd May 2018
    BrianP, depending on which 'shot' is administered determines the degree of flu strains covered. It is possible for folk to have the basic shot and suffer from a different strain shortly thereafter. New strains continue to evolve and overseas carriers arrive daily - a globalization downside of highly mobile people.
    Non inoculation leaves you totally reliant on your immune system, which has developed from exposure to past strains.
    22nd May 2018
    Brian once and for all, you CANNOT get the flu from the flu vaccination. It is NOT a live virus.

    It is possible to become infected after having had the vaccination and that particular flu strain not to have been covered, or to have been exposed to the virus for anything up to a week before the vaccination and still be asymptomatic. Equally it can take up to 4 weeks for the body to develop immunity from the flu vaccination and exposure to a flu virus before immunity is developed can also result in the flu.

    But neither is as a result of the vaccine itself.
    22nd May 2018
    It takes at least 10 days to take effect.
    22nd May 2018
    But it does lower your immune response, so you can still get the flu more easily after getting the vaccine.
    22nd May 2018
    BrianP, kindly stop repeating your anti-vaccine rubbish, after you read the many solid responses above (except by musicveg who has his own agenda). Maybe lives may be saved if people don't get misled by your uneducated and wrong comments.
    22nd May 2018
    I don't have an agenda George, just doing my own thing and trying to counteract the pro-flu vaccinators with a new outlook. BrianP is probably more informed than you who most likely believes anything you hear in the media.
    22nd May 2018
    Rubbish, musicveg, both BrianP and you are spreading misinformation and need to stop trying to discredit the advice from health authorities - not about the media. The posts from others above clearly explained why you are both misinformed so don't bother with your biased views - keep them to yourselves.
    23rd May 2018
    Well George if you believe in the "health authorities" so be it. I cannot find any truth that this vaccine works any better than natural immunity, good natural diet, etc.
    22nd May 2018
    "Have you tried to book in for a flu shot and been told to come back in a few weeks?"
    - YES ! So I went to the local chemist and got one for $10.99
    Are you sure you’re getting the right vaccine?
    -NO ! But I asked for the latest and received a written statement that I got INFLUVAC Batch PO7X Dose 0.5
    Is that the latest? I don't know! I presume it is because I asked for it and have a written statement

    22nd May 2018
    Why all the different vaccines ?
    22nd May 2018
    More money for vaccine producers.
    22nd May 2018
    I expect it must be about money or they would give the best vaccine to all, unless there is another Reason?
    22nd May 2018
    I just take Olive Leaf Extract and/or Oregano Oil to boost my immune system, works for me.
    I won't have vaccines that are grown on eggs and have no proof they work. More people are getting sick because of the chemicals in the environment and in the processed food they eat. If the vaccines worked why the jump in hospitalizations?
    22nd May 2018
    Not to mention this;

    Ah well, we're gonna die as a result of one thing or another, all the more reason to kick your heals up prior to the grim reaper doing the rounds... now if only we had advance warning, bloody gubbermint why aren't they keeping us informed.

    Tags: flu, vaccine, jab, shot, demand,

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