27 February 2018

Capital Health Network (CHN), ACT’s primary health network, welcomes today’s announcement by Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris that children between the ages of six months and five years will be eligible for a free influenza vaccine in the ACT.

CHN Chief Executive Gaylene Coulton said the new ACT Government funded program will help reduce the cases of influenza (commonly known as the flu) in local children under 5 years of age.

“Last year Australia experienced its worst flu season in many years.  We know that infants and young children are more like to get severe flu infections that require hospitalisation than older children,” said Ms Gaylene Coulton, CHN Chief Executive.

From April 2018, young children can receive the free influenza vaccine from their GP or at ACT Health Early Childhood Immunisation Clinics.

“Young children with flu are also more likely to spread the infection to others. So by protecting them we can also help protect other vulnerable people in the community, including babies too young to receive a flu vaccine (those aged less than six months) and the elderly,” said Ms Coulton.

Children receiving the vaccine for the first time require two doses at least four weeks apart.

“We encourage parents to visit their GP or Early Childhood Immunisation Clinic to get their child protected prior to the flu season,” said Ms Coulton.

CHN works in conjunction with primary health care professionals and ACT Health to promote and support immunisation with the ACT.  CHN provides highly regarded immunisation seminars, funded by ACT Health, to immunisation providers.  We also provide information and resources to general practices around immunisation updates.  

Capital Health Network is the ACT’s primary health network supporting health professionals to improve the coordination of care so that patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.