Friday, June 21, 2024

Queensland to host vaccination summit


Queensland Health Minister, Shannon Fentiman, has announced the State will host a Vaccination Summit to address barriers to immunisation.

The Minister said the Vaccination Summit will bring together preventable disease and immunisation experts, patients and families, pharmacists, and medical clinicians to discuss how best to boost vaccination rates and how to combat vaccine fatigue.

The Summit will also discuss whether the National Immunisation Program Schedule could or should be expanded, and how best to inform the public of the benefits of immunisation.

This move follows the Queensland Government’s announcement in August that meningococcal B vaccines would be made free and available for vulnerable groups from 2024 – the largest state-funded immunisation Program in Queensland’s history.

“When it comes to immunisation, adult Queenslanders do a great job looking after their kids, but we often forget the value of looking after ourselves – evidenced by low influenza vaccine rates,” said Minister Fentiman.

“I am concerned about declining vaccination rates and confidence. We cannot allow vaccination fatigue, conspiracy theories, and cost-of-living pressures to undermine our vaccination rates.

“So many people have been subject to so much misinformation during and after the pandemic, and I want to know what we can do better cut through that misinformation.

“That is why this Vaccination Summit is so important.

“I want Queensland to be the vaccine capital of Australia, and the conversations we have in the Vaccine Summit will help drive future reform.

“I also want to hear from the experts about the diseases we need to be thinking about next, and how we can tackle that at a national level.”

Only around 30% of Queenslanders get vaccinated against influenza each year.

Around 93% of Queenslanders diagnosed with influenza during this year’s flu season were not vaccinated.

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