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.
In 2022 Influenza vaccination of Aboriginal Australians fell across all age groups but particularly in children under 15 years. Children are at risk of severe illness with influenza and the 2022 report suggested that children younger than 16 years represented up to 55.8% of patients admitted to hospital with influenza. This year we are hoping to help ACCHO’s provide vaccinations to more Aboriginal people living in NSW across all ages.
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.