The Northern Hemisphere flu season is highlighting the importance of Australians receiving the quadrivalent vaccine as the best possible protection against the 2016 flu season, says The Terry White Group.
The quadrivalent vaccine offers protection against the California and Hong Kong flus (A strain) as well as the Brisbane and Phuket strains (B strain) of influenza.
Chief pharmacist Jeff McEvoy says the Australian flu season most often mirrors that of the Northern Hemisphere, which has just passed its traditional February peak period, having arrived a little later than usual.
“The quadrivalent vaccine is proving to reduce flu-related doctor’s visits by 60% in the Northern Hemisphere which is a very good outcome and something we’d like to be able to emulate here,” McEvoy says.
He says all TWG pharmacies will offer the quadrivalent vaccine, aiming to provide vaccination for more than 35,000 people.
To date the Terry White Group’s annual flu immunisation clinics are now in their 6th year with the
network’s pharmacies having administered the vaccine to more than 100,000 Australians.
McEvoy says the Group is grateful for the advantage of experience with pharmacist administered
immunisations gained through Queensland’s Pilot program.
“Our involvement with the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Program puts us on the front foot in terms of our experience and capacity to provide the nation’s most comprehensive flu immunisation program and that’s what we intend to do,” he says.
“But more importantly, we welcome broad-based pharmacist administered vaccination as an opportunity for the industry to further demonstrate its value and role as the third pillar of Australia’s health system by delivering a significant boost in immunisation rates across the country.”
Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, has released figures showing 2015 saw a record 90,000 reported flu cases in Australia – 25,000 higher than the year prior.
McEvoy says it’s a trend Terry White would like to arrest and in order to do that it will be important to ensure people know the options available to them and the pros and cons associated with the different vaccines available.