Recently, an Australian Government, Department Of Health website stated “The National Immunisation Program (NIP) Seasonal Influenza Immunisation Program for 2015 will commence on 20 April 20151”. The Courier Mail in Queensland, last week reported that the “nationally funded seasonal influenza vaccination program… is not scheduled to start until April 20”. This has sparked concerns that Influenza Vaccinations will not be available in Australia until 20 April 2015.
Reality: 2015 Influenza Vaccines are available NOW!
Yes, all TGA approved 2015 Influenza Vaccines suffered manufacturing delays this year due to a double strain change from the 2014 influenza vaccine but vaccines that are manufactured in Australia, are not affected by quarantine. Imported 2015 Influenza Vaccines currently are.
So, this year, locally manufactured influenza vaccines are available sooner than imported versions.
bioCSL is an Australian pharmaceutical company that manufactures the 2015 Influenza Vaccine branded Fluvax and, if you have access to an immunisation provider who administers this vaccine, you could have had your flu shot as early as March 2015 – you would not have had to wait until April 20 2015.
Fluvax is a registered vaccine for the 2015 Influenza Season Program2. The Consumer Medicine Information for this vaccine can be found on the bioCSL website3.
So, 2015 Influenza Vaccines that are manufactured in Australia are available NOW! However, if you only have access to an immunisation provider who administers an imported vaccine (including your GP), you will have to wait two more weeks.
- Australian Government Department Of Health website. Last modified: 31 March 2015. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/health-prof#flu2015
- Australian Government Department Of Health, Therapeutic Goods Administration website. Last modified: 23 March 2015. https://www.tga.gov.au/media-release/2015-seasonal-influenza-vaccines
- Fluvax Cunsumer Medicine Information Factsheet. bioCSL website: http://www.biocsl.com.au/docs/389/208/fluvaxCMI.pdf