Nurses’ advocate for immunisation against vaccine-preventable diseases and the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is reminding all Australians to get vaccinated in preparation for the upcoming flu season.

“Australia experienced one of its worst flu seasons last year and we need to ensure that we are all taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of influenza,” Australian College of Nursing CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.

As part of its flu season strategy, the NSW government has made it mandatory for health professionals who work in neonatal, transplant and cancer wards to be vaccinated by June 1 to protect vulnerable patients. It was reported that over 220,000 people were infected by the flu in 2017 with almost 1,100 fatalities.

“The nursing profession supports the NSW government’s strategy to immunise health workers. It is important to protect the patients we deliver care to. Patients in health care settings such as hospitals and aged care, are highly vulnerable and we must take all possible steps to ensure they are not exposed to the flu,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

“After immunisation, the vaccine will take two weeks to be fully effective. We want to ensure Australians are protected against the flu before the season reaches its peak so remind everyone, including health care professionals, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

High-risk groups including young children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and older Australians aged 65 years and over are eligible to a flu vaccination under the National Immunisation Program.

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