From Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Hobbs:
20 May 2018
It is positive that people have heard the message and are taking action to get vaccinated against influenza.
Record numbers of seasonal influenza vaccines have been brought into the country this year.
The Australian Government has made available over 5.1 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2018 through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Nationally, this represents almost a 10% increase than any other year for NIP vaccines.
Unprecedented demand for seasonal influenza vaccination this year has impacted the availability of supplies.
According to states and territories, compared to last year, there has been a 25-30% increase in demand.
Already this year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has released 9.6 million doses of influenza vaccines across the NIP, state programs and the private market.
In 2017, the TGA released 8.3 million doses across the NIP, state programs and the private market.
The Department of Health is working closely with states and territories to monitor availability of vaccines.
The Department of Health is also working closely with companies to ensure additional vaccines are brought into Australia.
The Chief Medical Officer has been tasked with ensuring as much vaccine is brought into the country as possible.
The Department of Health can advise that additional doses of TIVs (trivalent influenza vaccines) and QIVs (quadrivalent influenza vaccines) will soon be made available through the National Immunisation Program.
Patients who are yet to be vaccinated against influenza are urged to seek the advice of their GP.