Health Care

Cheap flu vaccine blamed for horror season

Cheap flu vaccine blamed for horror season”

"The Australian government purchases the best available vaccines for the NIP and the now supplied vaccines (eg Fluarix Tetra) are also used in the United States, United Kingdom and other developed countries.".

The Immunisation Council believes this year's shot was not effective for elderly Australians and there are much more effective versions being used overseas.

According to the latest statistics, more than 217,000 Australians had laboratory confirmed cases of the flu this year, compared with 91,000 last year.

Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy has told Jon Faine it's "ridiculous" to suggest authorities bought a cheaper and less effective flu vaccine for distribution this season.

A $6 "budget" vaccine was used in the national vaccination program, despite claims it does not adequately protect those most at risk.

"Paying for a vaccine that doesn't work is a false economy, if you can stop tens of thousands of people getting sick or hospitalisation the extra expense is worth undertaking", Professor van Buynder said.

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"We didn't have a choice to get the better one", Prof Van Buynder said.

"The two vaccines mentioned in the media today are not available in Australia because the companies have not had them registered for use in Australia with the Therapeutic Goods Administration".

Influenza A was the most common virus throughout the season. "We had new viruses, we had lots of children spreading viruses and we had no protection in the elderly from the vaccine itself", Prof Van Buynder said.

"The flu vaccine is a lifesaver because flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease, with potentially in Ireland during a severe flu season".

"The 2017 flu vaccine supplied in Australia is the current standard of care globally for the prevention of influenza", Sanofi says.

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