Perth: stronger flu vaccine available from late April

Dr Sanjeev Balakrishnan. Photo: Jon Hewson
Dr Sanjeev Balakrishnan. Photo: Jon Hewson

A STRONGER strain of the flu vaccine will be available to GPs later this month and be free for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes.

The Federal Government will fund two new vaccines this year – Fluad and Fluzone High Dose – that will be free for high-risk people.

Park Medical Group senior GP Sanjeev Balakrishnan said those aged 65 and over were the biggest casualties of the flu last year when many people got the vaccine too early.

“Last year the vaccine was given early so by the time winter was here we believe most people had lost immunity to the flu infection,” Dr Balakrishnan said.

“If we delay vaccinating patients it will lead to optimum antibody outcomes.”

Dr Balakrishnan recommended people get the flu vaccine in late April or early May.

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