Media Release: Mobile influenza immunisation service for Whittlesea

05 May, 2017

Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) is working to improve influenza immunisation rates by launching a new $68,000 mobile immunisation service in Whittlesea.

This innovative project targets poor immunisation rates amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, refugee, asylum seekers and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

EMPHN CEO, Robin Whyte said that traditionally these groups of people missed on immunisations because of lack of access opportunities.

The project will increase vaccinations in these groups whilst also increasing awareness about the importance of immunisation.

"Key to this project’s success is the dual function of providing vaccinations now and empowering these vulnerable communities with knowledge about the importance of immunisation," Ms Whyte said.

City of Whittlesea have been contracted to deliver this project in their catchment and Mayor Ricky Kirkham welcomed the funding.

"Immunising people who are at risk of complications from the flu is the most important way we have to reduce the number of flu infections and deaths," Mayor Kirkham said

"In Victoria last year, 13,112 people suffered from laboratory confirmed influenza - 477 alone were City of Whittlesea residents."

The Federal government recommends everyone from six months old be vaccinated. Those in some vulnerable categories should speak to their GP as they are at higher risk of catching the flu. These include;

  • People aged 65 years and over;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged six months to less than five years;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are aged 15 years and over;
  • Pregnant women; and
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions, like severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes.

The project is due to commence in early May. Accessing the influenza immunisation mobile service for these communities will be convenient and delivered from many places across the City of Whittlesea throughout mid-May to early July 2017.

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Sofia Dedes

Marketing and Communications Consultant Eastern Melbourne PHN

Ph:0400 512 618