Free onsite flu jabs for aged care residents

The program will give older people the protection they need in what could be Australia’s worst flu season on record.

From Monday, community pharmacists will be able to provide free influenza vaccinations in aged care homes.

Operating under the National Immunisation Program Vaccination in Pharmacy program –  which allows eligible patients to access National Immunisation Program vaccines – pharmacists will receive government funding to administer flu shots, Covid jabs and other inoculations to aged care residents and people living in disability homes.

Mark Butler

“Community pharmacists play a vital role in our healthcare system – and they will play an even bigger role by administering free, lifesaving vaccines to eligible patients living in aged care homes and disability homes,” said Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler.

The free flu vaccine will be made available for vulnerable people most at risk of complications, including people aged 65 years and over.

Nick Panayiaris

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia – a national organisation representing community pharmacists – welcomed the initiative. Its national vice president Nick Panayiaris said the scheme would give aged care residents the protection they needed in what could be the country’s worst flu season on record. “The guild and the government have worked together, and important changes have now been made to the NIPVIP to protect vulnerable Australians during this nasty flu season.”

Mr Panayiaris said the program will undoubtedly save seniors’ lives. “A flu vaccination reduces the likelihood of hospitalisation by 70 per cent.”

Funding for the offsite NIPVIP program is available until June 2026 when continuation of the scheme will be subject to review.

With government data showing reported cases of flu to date in Australia already 40 per cent higher than this time last year, Mr Butler is recommending that everyone eligible seeks protection. “We know vaccines can save lives and prevent us from becoming seriously unwell,” he said. “I urge all Australians to book in and get flu and Covid vaccines to protect themselves this winter.”

Appointments can be booked through a doctor, general practice, a community health centre, an Aboriginal health service, and pharmacies.

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Tags: covid, flu, mark butler, National Immunisation Program, National Immunisation Program Vaccination in Pharmacy, Nick Panayiaris, Pharmacy Guild of Australia,

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