1 April 2015 | Community Announcements
Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will receive free seasonal influenza vaccines this winter.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are five times more likely to die from the flu than non-Indigenous children,” Minister Ley said.
“Free access to the flu vaccine will mean this essential preventative health measure is now within the reach of the most at-risk Indigenous children.”
Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP), essential vaccines — including seasonal influenza vaccinations — are provided free of charge to at-risk groups within the community. Ms Ley said the Abbott Government would invest $1.3 million this year and $4.5 million over the next five years to expand the flu vaccination program to include Indigenous children.
“Those who survive a severe flu can suffer lasting health complications including pneumonia, heart, blood system and liver problems,” Ms Ley said.
“Providing free flu vaccines to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in their formative years will help them to grow up healthy, happy and ready for school and be a positive step towards closing the gap in health outcomes.”
The NIP is a joint initiative between the Australian Government and state and territory governments.