Free influenza (flu) vaccine for South Australian children under five
27 April 2018
All children aged under five in South Australia will be eligible for a free flu vaccine this year.
The South Australian government will fund the vaccine for all children aged six months to under five years for the first time this winter.
It follows a horror flu season in South Australia in 2017 when more than 27,833 people were struck down by influenza.
In 2016, 7871 people in the State had influenza and 10,763 during the 2009 pandemic. This is the highest notification of the flu in 10 years and represents a 250% increase since the previous year.
Experts said the horror flu season was fuelled by young children spreading the virus.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Paddy Phillips said “young children with flu are more likely to spread the infection to others. By immunising young children we can also help protect other vulnerable people in the community, including babies too young to receive a flu vaccine, the elderly, those medically at risk and with weakened immune systems.”
Children who have never had a flu vaccination will need two doses, at least four weeks apart. FluQuadri Junior will be available for children aged 6 months to less than 3 years and FluQuadri will be made available for children aged 3 years to less than 5 years.
By immunising younger children, those more vulnerable in the community will also be protected, including babies too young to receive a flu vaccine.
Distribution to providers is expected to commence from Tuesday 1 May 2018.
For further information, see the SA Health immunisation section.