Gippsland Region Public Health Unit, Health Services,

A timely reminder for Gippslanders to get vaccinated

Gippslanders are being reminded to keep up-to-date with their immunisation schedule to help stop the spread of easily preventable and serious diseases.

The last week of April is World Immunisation Week and this year’s theme is ‘Humanly Possible: Saving lives through immunisation’.

Vaccines are one of humanity’s greatest achievements and have saved nearly 154 million lives in the past 50 years, according to World Health Organisation figures.

Gippsland Region Public Health Unit Dr Shereen Labib urges Gippslanders to “know which vaccinations you, your children and your family need”.

Dr Labib said Australia has one of the world’s best national immunisation programs, which involves a series of immunisations given at specific times from childhood to adulthood.

“These immunisations are free. But there are other important vaccines that are not included on the National Immunisation Program,” Dr Labib said.

“These include the flu and COVID-19 vaccines that are extremely important as we approach winter.”

Additionally, people should ask their GP about other vaccines, such as pneumococcal and shingles vaccines for older people, pregnancy vaccines like whooping cough, and travel vaccines.

Dairy farmers and people who work with cattle, sheep and goats are also being urged to get their Q fever vaccine.

“In the past few years during the pandemic, progress on immunisation slipped and many children missed out on their essential immunisations,” Dr Labib said.

“As a result, the World Health Organisation warns that the world is witnessing sudden outbreaks of diseases such as measles and Diphtheria, that, until now, were nearly in-hand thanks to vaccines.

“Australia has seen a recent increase in measles cases.

“Check that your children’s immunisations are up to date and if they are not, organise for catch up through your GP. Get your flu shot and Covid-19 booster.

“If you are in a high-risk occupation for certain diseases, make sure you are vaccinated to protect yourself, your family and livelihood.”