Budget Version of Flu Vaccine Blamed for Bad Season
A cheap vaccine has been blamed for the number of Australians succumbing to the flu this winter, with more than double the number of confirmed cases.
Doctors are blaming a cheap vaccine for failing to protect the elderly in what has been Australia’s worst flu season on record.
Figures reveal more than 217,000 Australians had laboratory confirmed cases of the flu this year – more than double the previous record of just over 100,000 in 2015.
A $6 version of the vaccine was the problem, which did not properly protect the elderly, Immunisation Coalition chair Professor Paul van Buynder told News Corp on Monday.
“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,” the professor said.
“This was a disaster year and if we don’t get policy change as a result heaven help me.”
Professor van Buynder works as a public physician on the Gold Coast and has worked as a member of an expert panel to help the government choose the vaccine for national immunisation.
Despite van Buynder’s claims to New Corp, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy told the publication the advisory group always ensures the nation receives the best vaccine.
Mr Murphy previously told reporters this season’s vaccine selected by the World Health Organisation, gave “moderate to good” coverage of the viruses, but it had not been as effective as previous years.
The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report showed notification rates have been highest for adults aged 80 years or older, with a peak also amongst children aged five to nine-years-old.
Influenza A was the most common virus throughout the season.