Queensland Government Launches Free Flu Vaccination Program

The Queensland government has initiated a $40 million commitment to provide free flu vaccinations in 2024 to ease financial burdens on families and combat increasing flu cases.

According to Queensland Health data, as of March 25, there have been 7,190 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza this year, surpassing more than double the five-year average.

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Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman said: “In 2023, Queensland recorded more than 74,000 flu cases, and sadly, 144 deaths were reported.”

Mr Fentiman said 7,000 flu cases have been reported this year, as well as 11 deaths due to influenza.

Since the beginning of 2024, more than 700 people have been hospitalised due to serious illnesses from influenza. 

Currently, there are 83 people in the hospital, according to the latest Queensland health data published on March 25. 

“Getting vaccinated every year is the best way for people to protect themselves and their loved ones against the flu.”

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Steven Miles, Premier of Queensland, said: “Many people have vaccine fatigue after the pandemic, which means we are recording significant drops in vaccinations against things like the flu.”

Mr Miles said the influenza vaccine update dropped significantly last year compared to 2022, with only one in three Queenslanders taking the vaccine. 

“While it might seem like the common cold, influenza can be deadly, which is why it’s so important to get a flu shot every single year,” he said.

Mr Miles said bookings for free flu vaccinations are currently open. He encouraged individuals to take early vaccination before the flu season from May to October, with most cases peaking in August.

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