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Stronger Vaccine Needed After Devastating Flu Season

Could be fast-tracked

Stronger Vaccine Needed After Devastating Flu Season

Following a horrific flu season across the country, Australia's chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy has said that a stronger vaccine could be fast-tracked in time for next year.

This comes after 546 deaths this year from the virus, with the median age of death 85.

However, Professor Murphy denied that this resulted from 'cheap' vaccines used under the Government's free vaccination program.

“The claim that cheap vaccines are purchased for the National Immunisation Program (NIP) is false," Professor Murphy said.

“Of the trivalent influenza vaccines supplied internationally specifically for the elderly, one (a high dose formulation) is not registered in Australia and the other (an adjuvanted vaccine) does not have an up to date registration in Australia. This means the vaccines are currently not able to be supplied in Australia.

“By law, the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee must recommend a vaccine before it can be listed on the NIP."

The free vaccine is provided to at-risk demographics, such as the elderly.