World-first flu vaccine to be available in Australia

Australia

AUSTRALIANS aged 65 and over will be the first in the world to be offered a new flu vaccine.

Seqirus Australia this week said its FLUAD® Quad (Inactivated Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen), Adjuvanted) has been listed on the National Immunisation Program.

It is a four strain (quadrivalent) inactivated flu vaccine that works by causing your body to produce its own antibodies against the four types of influenza virus that are in the vaccine. FLUAD Quad also contains an adjuvant, a substance added to the vaccine to facilitate the process.

Adjuvanted vaccines are sometimes used for older adults as the effectiveness of the immune system decreases with age.

Between 1997 and 2016, 80 per cent of influenza reported deaths in Australia were in people aged 65 and over.

Associate Professor Woodward AM, Director, Aged Care Research and the Head of Memory Clinic at Austin Health advised people not to be complacent about getting their flu immunisation due to the impact influenza can present to public health systems.

“Vaccinating for flu is always important – but this year it will be particularly critical, and especially for older Australians and those with chronic diseases.

“While the flu vaccine does not protect against the COVID-19 virus, immunising against the flu may help reduce the risk of diagnostic uncertainty between flu and COVID-19 and reduce pressure on our health system and ICUs.”

Seqirus, a CSL company, is proudly Australian owned, operating Australia’s only onshore influenza vaccine manufacturing site.

Seqirus Asia Pacific Head of Medical Affairs, Dr Jonathan Anderson congratulated the Federal Government and Minister Hunt for their continuing commitment to Australia’s world-leading public immunisation program and for fast tracking the approval of FLUAD® Quad for delivery via the NIP for Australians aged 65 and over in advance of the 2020 influenza season.

“Seqirus is proud to continue our partnership with the Australian Government to deliver this world-first launch of our adjuvanted quadrivalent vaccine.”

Please speak with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about flu vaccination, including whether it is suitable for you.

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