All children under the age of five will be eligible for a free flu vaccine. Picture: iStock
All children under the age of five will be eligible for a free flu vaccine. Picture: iStock

Free flu shots for all children under 5

ALL children under five in NSW will be eligible for a free flu vaccine this year.

The NSW government will fund the vaccine for all children aged six months to five years for the first time this winter.

It follows a horror flu season when more than 103,892 people were struck down by influenza in NSW in 2017.

In 2016 just over 35,000 people in the state had influenza while in 2015 it was just over 30,000.

Experts said the horror flu season was fuelled by young children spreading the virus.

There were more than 12,000 children who had influenza last year in NSW.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Munoz
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

The new program will cost about $3.5 million and benefit about 400,000 children.

Children who have never had a flu jab will need to have two shots, one month apart.

Indigenous children and children with chronic illness already receive free vaccines under a federally funded program.

The current childhood vaccination rate for all disease is about 93.9 per cent in NSW.

“We already have some of the best childhood vaccination rates in the country and this free flu jab will go even further to protect our little ones from potentially deadly flu infections,� Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.


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