2020 Flu Vaccinations

 In News & Updates

At Saltwater Medical we believe in the importance of preventative health, which is why we strongly recommend the 2020 flu vaccine for all patients over 6 months of age. The vaccination helps guard against preventable strains of influenza A and B and is more important than ever this year with the added threat of COVID-19.

IMPORTANT NOTE – we are currently experiencing very high demand for influenza vaccinations, combined with shortages of government funded vaccines (which are beyond our control). Regrettably, we have only just received very limited supplies of the government funded doses. As a result, we are prioritising the delivery of these vaccinations for our most vulnerable cohorts of older patients at the present time.

For all other less vulnerable patients we are keeping a register of those who wish to receive the 2020 flu vaccination. If you would like to put your name on the waiting list please call reception on 5301 9828. We are working our way through this list on a daily basis and we expect to be able to offer vaccinations to existing patients who have registered interest as soon as possible over the course of the next 3-4 weeks.

Please understand, due to the increased logistics this year of organising vaccination clinics (which need to meet social distancing criteria and our enhanced patient flow safety protocols), we need to structure our clinics in a very specific way. As a result, we will only be able to offer specific appointment times to existing patients of the practice who have registered their interest.

We are doing the best we can to roll these vaccinations out as quickly as possible, however the availability of stock and the social distancing criteria limitations are factors that are making this more difficult. We thank you for your patience and understanding and can assure our valued patients that we are working as hard as we can to roll these vaccinations out as quickly as possible.

Please be assured that the recommended timeframe to receive your seasonal vaccination is usually mid-April to end of May, so you do not need to be concerned if you cannot receive your vaccination for a few weeks.

When is the best time to get my vaccination?
Evidence shows that protection from the flu vaccine begins to wane 3-4 months after it is administered, and that peak flu season is expected to be between June to September this year. For these reasons, timing of your vaccine is important, which is why we’re scheduling our vaccinations to happen in April and May this year.

How much does it cost?
There are two components to the cost of the service:

  1. Consultation fee – the consultation fee is $38.20, but your Medicare rebate will reimburse all of this
  2. Vaccine dose – patients who meet the government eligibility criteria will get the vaccine dose free (subject to the government delivering the stock to our practice). If you are not eligible for the government funded dose, we will have a limited number of private doses in stock, which you can purchase directly from us for $23.

Eligibility criteria for the 2020 government funded vaccine dose
The following cohorts of people are eligible to receive the influenza vaccine dose for free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) in 2020:

  • Children aged between 6 months to less than 5 years
  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Pregnant people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged six months and over
  • People with medical conditions that can lead to complications from influenza (e.g. severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes)

Government funded vaccine stock delivery dates
Unfortunately we have no control or visibility over how many government funded vaccine doses are delivered to our surgery and when they might arrive. This makes our logistics difficult, but rest assured we will roll these out as soon as we possibly can.

If you are in an eligible cohort but don’t want to wait for the government funded doses to arrive, and you are under 65 years of age, you are welcome to purchase a private vaccine consumable from us.

Purchasing a private vaccine dose from Saltwater Medical
Each year Saltwater Medical purchases a bulk quantity of private vaccine doses which we make available for purchase directly from us for the convenience of our patients.

If you’re not eligible for the government funded vaccine, you can purchase one directly from us for $23.

Want more information about the flu vaccine?
Download a copy of our 2020 Flu Vaccination factsheet here. It’s full of up-to-the-minute information about influenza, how the vaccine works, why you should get it and the actual composition of this year’s vaccinations.