More than 900,000 Queenslanders now vaccinated against the flu

Published Wednesday, 08 May, 2024 at 01:05 PM


The Honourable Steven Miles

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • More than 900,000 flu doses have already been administered this year, equating to around 30,000 vaccines every weekday.
  • Queensland has recorded over 12,000 influenza cases and, tragically, 24 deaths so far this year.
  • People are being encouraged to get vaccinated for free, to stay at home when sick, and wash their hands and practice good hygiene.
  • It comes as Queensland Health launches a social media awareness campaign about the importance of getting vaccinated.

Queensland's fight against flu in 2024 has started strong, with 934,000 Queenslanders vaccinated in the lead-up to the influenza peak season.

While the number of Queenslanders vaccinated is growing since the Miles Labor Government announced $40 million to provide free flu vaccines, cases are also continuing to grow.

More than 12,000 cases and 24 deaths have been recorded this year, demonstrating the importance of the Miles Government’s free flu shots.

Queenslanders are being encouraged to to do three simple, but critically important, things to keep their community safe:

  1. Get vaccinated for free,
  2. Stay at home if you are sick,
  3. Wash your hands and practice good hygiene.

Around 30,000 flu vaccines are being administered every weekday across Queensland – a better result than any of the last three years.

The strong uptake in vaccinations this year means 16 per cent of Queenslanders are now protected against the flu before the onset of winter.

Most Queenslanders are heading to their local doctor to get vaccinated, with GPs administering 62 per cent of flu vaccines, while 25 per cent have been administered by pharmacies.

Queensland residents aged over six months old are eligible to receive the free vaccine.

The Queenslanders most at risk of serious illness are children aged under five years of age and people aged 65 years and over.

While Queenslanders aged 65 years and over are seeing good uptake with 42 per cent of this cohort now vaccinated, low vaccination rates are reported among children under five years with a vaccination rate currently  seven per cent.

Queensland Health has recently launched the Don’t Be Complacent campaign across social media and other channels, which aims to bring awareness to the risks of acut respirotary illnesses like influenza and the importance of getting vaccinated.

Quotes attributable to Premier Steven Miles:

“We know the best way to protect ourselves from this deadly disease is to get vaccinated and it’s great to see so many Queenslanders have taken up the call.

“I never want cost to be a barrier for our communities, which is why we made the flu jab free.

“My government is committed to keeping Queenslanders safe and healthy, while delivering cost-of-living relief where it counts.

“With more cool months ahead, I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against the flu yet to book in to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Cameron Dick:

“If there’s one thing Queenslanders know from the last five years, it is that vaccines save lives.

“That’s why our Government has put $40 million towards providing free flu vaccines for Queenslanders.

“We have made these vaccines free because we don’t want cost of living pressures to stand in the way of Queenslanders getting vaccinated and protecting their families.

“Along with taking off $1,000 Queenslanders’ power bills, free flu vaccines are just another way we are delivering lower household bills for Queensland families."

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman:

“It’s fantastic that more than 900,000 Queenslanders have already rolled up their sleeves to receive a flu vaccine.

“This is very encouraging, and I hope this strong start continues to ensure we have extensive coverage across the state.

“Last year, Queensland saw a concerning number of flu cases, with more than 74,000, and sadly, 144 deaths were reported. Already this year, we’ve surpassed 12,000 cases and 24 deaths.

“Nearly everyone presenting to hospital with the flu last year had not been vaccinated, which put significant pressure on our emergency departments.

“Getting vaccinated ahead of the peak flu season keeps people safe and ensures our health system is there for those who need it most.

“We’re asking Queenslanders to do three key things to keep our community safe this flu season: get vaccinated for free, stay home if you’re sick, and wash your hands and practice good hygiene.”

Quotes attributable to Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Catherine McDougall:

“The high number of flu cases this year to date suggests a potentially significant flu season, which could disrupt households, schools, workplaces, and increase demand on our health services.

“I remind Queenslanders that annual flu vaccination is the best way to protect against severe disease and complications, and also to break the chain of transmission.

“The strong uptake of the flu vaccine is encouraging; however, I urge even more Queenslanders to get vaccinated, especially those at high risk like pregnant people, children under five years of age, and those aged 65 and over.

“I also encourage Queenslanders to make sure they, as well as their families and loved ones, stay up to date with vaccinations against other respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 and whooping cough.

“It’s also a timely reminder to continue practicing good hygiene habits, such as regular handwashing and staying home when sick.

“By increasing vaccination rates, we can collectively protect our communities and minimise the impact of influenza during the upcoming season.”