Medical Mums urge free kids’ flu vaccination

World Immunisation Week (24 to 30 April 2020)

While most parents understand immunisation is the best way to protect children against many serious and life-threatening diseases, they often overlook the risks posed by influenza.

According to Queensland Health, infants and children less than 5 years of age are more likely than older children and adults to get severe flu infections resulting in hospitalisation.

Brisbane North PHN Deputy CEO Libby Dunstan said myths circulating on the internet can confuse wellmeaning parents about whether or not to vaccinate their children.

“To coincide with World Immunisation Week (24 to 30 April 2020), we have refreshed our Medical Mums public awareness campaign to counter vaccine myths,” Ms Dunstan said.

“Immunisation rates for childhood vaccines covered under the National Immunisation Program Schedule are really quite high in Brisbane North, but seasonal flu vaccine coverage always seems to languish a lot lower,” she said.

“Unfortunately, during this year’s flu season, we also have to contend with coronavirus.

“Doctors are warning that the consequences of contracting both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time would be catastrophic.

“Given the flu vaccine is free in Queensland for children aged between six months to under five years of age, we’d like to see more kids vaccinated against influenza,” she said.

The Medical Mums website – www.medicalmums.com.au – and annual campaign tackle some of the main myths known to be causing vaccine hesitancy among parents.

“We know parents are getting mixed messages about vaccination, but our campaign message is clear and unambiguous,” Ms Dunstan said.

“If parents have safety concerns about vaccines, they should talk to their GP,” she said.

“Whether it’s from something they’ve read online or a rumour they’ve heard from a friend, parents are saying it’s hard to know what’s true, but they don’t have to figure this out for themselves.

“The best person they can discuss their concerns with is their GP, who can answer their questions in more detail,” Ms Dunstan said.

Medical Mums campaign advertising features a series of animation videos that will appear across various digital platforms, including Facebook.

General practices are encouraged to access the patient resources available for download from the Medical Mums website.

View the media release.