Following the Commonwealth Government’s welcome announcement that Australia has secured the largest ever supply of influenza vaccines, the Australian College of Nursing is urging all Australians to look out for each other by getting immunised.
“I am encouraged, as I am sure the broader community is, by the reassurances made by the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, that we have enough flu vaccinations to ensure the general population can get a flu shot as we head into winter and the flu season,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.
“COVID-19 has once again reminded us of how important immunisation is when it comes to protecting against deadly, infectious diseases. Fortunately, we have an immunisation against influenza but we need all Australians to get vaccinated, so we have herd immunity.
“Without herd immunity, some of the most vulnerable members of our community are at risk. The flu can have serious impacts on people’s health and even kill.
“Australians have really pulled together to do the right thing in the face of COVID-19 and now they need to do the right thing again and make sure we do not experience a horrific flu season to compound our current health crisis.
“People may feel it is difficult to get out and get immunised. However, I urge them to investigate local services and arrange access in a safe manner. It may take longer than usual to get an appointment, but please persist.
“Demand for influenza immunisation has been estimated to already be greater than previous years and that is very heartening.”
Nurses are key to ensuring our community can receive timely flu vaccines with around 60 per cent of nurses in primary health care delivering vaccines daily.
“This year more than ever, we need to protect our frontline health care workers, those continuing to keep our supermarkets and other essential services operating and of course children, older Australians and those with chronic health conditions.”
Australia experienced its worst flu season on record in 2019, with 310,000 presenting to health services.
“Let’s ensure the 2020 flu season is remembered for a very different reason,” Adjunct Professor Ward said. “Let’s pull together to reach herd immunity and keep our community safe.”
 ACN 2018. Position Statement: Nurses, Immunisation and Health. Accessed at: https://www.acn.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/position-statement-nurses-immunisation-and-health.pdf. See page 2.