Background – The AH&MRC will work State and Commonwealth agencies to provide support Member Services with their communications campaigns before and during each Influenza season. Great work has already been done and it is important that we have consistent messaging to our members about influenza and the importance of vaccination.
As of 2019, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are eligible for a free flu vaccine. Each year the Chief Medical Officer of Australia will be writing to all ACCHSs advising them about that year’s vaccine strains and info about different vaccines for different age groups. Aboriginal Australians have higher rates of vaccination than mainstream population (58% vs 44%) which is great news, but 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not aware of the vaccine so we still have work to do.
The AH&MRC Influenza Preparedness Program delivers a range of activities including:
- Provide cultural expertise and relevant community consultation
- Provide input and advice to key stakeholders to have consistent messaging
- Educating and empowering the ACCHS sector workforce about the role they can play in influenza preparedness and vaccinations
- Support partnerships with local immunisation workforces
- Provide regular email communication to a large network; sharing updated information, resources and workforce upskilling opportunities.