As at 23 May 2021, there has been around 5.4 million doses of influenza (flu) vaccines reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
See infographic which shows the number of flu vaccinations by patient age and immunisation provider type reported to the AIR during the 2021 flu season.
The Department of Health have also developed information brochures in a range of different languages for the 2021 influenza vaccine season.
Overcoming vaccine hesitancy
GPs and practice nurses are ideally placed to answer specific questions about people’s personal health and vaccine eligibility. A recommendation to vaccinate from a health-care professional is particularly powerful.
Reassure patients about AstraZeneca vaccine
The risk of TTS is not likely to be increased in people with the below conditions, as outlined in the ATAGI statement: Joint statement from ATAGI and THANZ on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
People with the following conditions can receive COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca:
History of blood clots in typical sites
Increased clotting tendency that is not immune mediated
Family history of blood clots
History of ischaemic heart disease or stroke
Current or past thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
Those receiving anticoagulation therapy
Benefits of vaccination
Vaccination against COVID-19 remains the best way to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19.
The benefits of vaccination are many and include protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19 for the individual, as well as indirect benefits for the community.
The risk of potential outbreaks of COVID-19 is ever-present. The Australian population remains largely unimmunised and susceptible to COVID-19 risks.
If a patient doesn’t have a Medicare card, or is not eligible, refer them to get their free COVID-19 vaccination at a GP Respiratory Clinic (currently only stock AstraZeneca) or NSW state vaccination clinic (stock both Pfizer & AstraZeneca).
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) 2021 annual statement on immunisation covers key successes, trends and challenges in the use of vaccines and control of vaccine-preventable diseases in 2020. It also signals ATAGI’s priority actions for addressing key issues for 2021 and beyond.
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