FLU SHOT: Dr Ewen McPhee is says vaccinations are especially crucial in rural and remote regions.
FLU SHOT: Dr Ewen McPhee is says vaccinations are especially crucial in rural and remote regions.

’Strong uptake’ of flu vaccines in Emerald

STOCK of influenza vaccines for those younger than 65 is exhausted at the Emerald Medical Group as the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine urges Australians to get vaccinated.

ACRRM president and Emerald doctor Ewen McPhee said there had so far been a “strong uptake” of inoculations in Emerald and supply at his clinic would soon be replenished.

“Vaccines protect people of all ages against disease, saving millions of lives every year, and are one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions,” he said.

“This is particularly important in rural and remote regions.”

Vaccinations have been set aside for anyone 65 or older.

Dr McPhee said that despite coronavirus concern, there was still a risk of other communicable diseases, such as measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough.

“While researchers are working to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, we must also ensure people are being vaccinated against existing diseases,” he said.

“Fortunately, Australia has a high percentage of our population immunised, but we can’t afford for people to let their vaccinations lapse.

“Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases could be devastating in our communities, and this is easily avoidable by maintaining routine immunisations.”

Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd encouraged eligible people to get their flu vaccine through the Federal immunisation program.

“April and May is the best time to get a flu vaccine and people should contact their doctor or community pharmacy to book an appointment,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Many Australians, including all Australians over 65 years of age and children under the age of five are eligible for a free flu vaccine through the National Immunisation Program.

“Whether in person, or through the expanded telehealth network, it’s critical that people continue to manage their general health throughout the COVID-19 health emergency. Your GP is there to help you follow your treatment plan and improve your health.”


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