State Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams MP, and Federal Member for Bruce, Julian Hill MP, today received their annual flu shot at the Autumn Place Pharmacy in Doveton.

The local Dandenong MPs are both strongly committed to promoting the health and safety of the community throughout the 2019 flu season.

The Andrews Labor Government has taken action to ensure the annual vaccine is easily accessible, especially to the most vulnerable members of the community. Thanks to a $3.5 million investment from the Andrews Government, children aged from 6 months to under 5 years have been able to receive a free flu shot since 1 May 2018. Pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, anyone with a chronic condition or weakened immune system, and all Victorians over 65, are also eligible for a free flu vaccine.

Since early April 2018, 1.78 million doses of influenza vaccine have been distributed across Victoria, which is 450,000 more doses than in any previous year. The 2018 influenza season saw 11,485 cases recorded in Victoria, compared to 48,200 in 2017. This 76% decrease in cases can in part be attributed to the increased uptake of the influenza vaccine.

Everyone should get an annual flu shot from mid-April onwards to be protected for the peak flu season, which is generally takes place from June to September. However, the flu can spread all year round, so it’s never too late to be vaccinated.

For more information about the annual flu vaccine members of the public are encouraged to contact their GP or local pharmacy.