According to Queensland Health, influenza causes the majority of hospital admissions in children under five years of age.
From April 2018, the Queensland government is providing free influenza vaccine for children aged between 6 months to less than 5 years of age to ensure all children in this age group are protected.
To achieve this protection, there will be a funded quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) available.
The QIVs for children less than five years of age will cover two A strains of influenza (H1N1/Michigan and H3N2/Singapore) and two B strains of influenza (Brisbane and Phuket).
The A/H3N2 component of the vaccine has been updated in the 2018 vaccines to provide better protection than previous vaccines against this important strain.
Health providers are being reminded to check are administering the correct vaccine for the child’s age, before administering an influenza vaccine.
All practices are being reminded to ensure their practice software is up to date so that all vaccine doses administered to children and adults are reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).