Prioritising all Aboriginal people aged six months and over for their free influenza vaccines

Aboriginal people have a higher chance of serious illness and complications from influenza and COVID-19 infections, and practices are encouraged to reach out to patients who identify as Aboriginal regarding their influenza (for patients aged six months and over) and COVID-19 vaccinations (for patients aged five and over) under the National Immunisation Program.

Australia is currently experiencing a sharp spike in reported influenza cases and COVID-19 remains a concern. COVID-19 and influenza vaccines can be co-administered to eligible patients.

Statistics from previous years show that Aboriginal influenza immunisation rates sit between 20 to 30 per cent.

While immunisation against influenza is recommended for all Aboriginal people aged six months and over, it is particularly important for those who are at a greater risk of complications, including those with diabetes and COPD.

Influenza vaccination substantially reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death from influenza and pneumonia for people with type 2 diabetes and COPD (AIHW 2018).