The Australian College of Nursing is urging all Australians to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza in order to protect themselves, their loved ones and the nation’s indispensable health care professionals.
“Australia, like the rest of the world, has been rocked by COVID-19,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said. “While this pandemic can make it easy to push other health concerns to the back of the queue, it actually makes getting the flu vaccination more important than ever.
“Contracting COVID-19 is extremely dangerous to the health of older Australians, people with chronic health conditions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to the ability of our health care professionals to continue providing care.
“The winter flu presents similar risks and ensuring everyone is immunised can help protect the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Australia experienced its worst flu season on record in 2019, with 310,000 presenting to health services. The ACN Nurses, Immunisation and Health Position Statement released last year clearly highlighted the importance of adult vaccinations to protect our community.
“Our health services are under unprecedented pressure due to COVID-19 and we can each do our part to make sure other preventable infectious illnesses, like the flu, do not add to this burden,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“More than half of all primary care nurses provide immunisations daily. Our nursing workforce is vital to providing access to immunisation for all Australian’s including those living in rural and remote areas. ACN would like to see governments support more nurses to undertake training to become nurse immunisers and enable nurses to provide immunisations in people’s homes.”
“If people need an incentive to get immunised, please consider the impact exposing doctors and nurses to the flu will potentially have on our health care workforce – who we need now more than ever – not to mention the threat to vulnerable family members.”