With a severe influenza season on the cards for NSW, the state government has announced flu vaccinations will be available free of charge throughout the month of June.
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The state government will fund flu vaccinations at GPs and pharmacies until June 30.
There has already been a significant rush at Bathurst pharmacies of people looking to receive a flu vaccination, but Monday's announcement is expected to make it accessible for all residents over the age of five.
Forbutt's Pharmacy pharmacist Sam Forbutt said the pharmacy has received a significant spike in bookings over the past 24 hours.
"We've seen over 150 people book in throughout the next week since Monday's announcement," Mr Forbutt said.
"There's been close to a thousand already who have received a flu vaccination through our pharmacy, which is great to see, but the fact they'll be free for a month will provide greater incentive for people to book in."
Mr Forbutt said the sharp increase in respiratory illness statewide [1140 over the past week] highlights the importance of booking in as soon as possible for a vaccination.
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"We're seeing an exponential growth in flu cases not just in NSW, but Australia-wide, so it's certainly going to be an issue this year," he said.
"Of course, COVID is still around, but we've seen a lot of people through the pharmacy already seeking relief for flu-like symptoms."
Mr Forbutt said it's important to acknowledge flu vaccinations will be free throughout the month, which offers greater flexibility for residents.
"There's going to be plenty of vaccines and appointments available, and people are able to walk in. The process takes only 10 to 15 minutes," he said.
"However, the sooner you get it done, the better, because it does take around two weeks to kick in."
Mr Forbutt said the pharmacy is also continuing to offer COVID booster vaccinations for people needing a third or fourth jab.
"Both COVID and flu vaccinations can be delivered at the same time," he said.
"We can deliver vaccinations for people five years and up, but children under five will still need to visit a GP for their vaccinations."
The federal government will continue to fund flu vaccinations for residents at higher risk of severe flu complications, including Indigenous Australians [over six months], people over 65, pregnant women, immunocompromised people and children between six months and five years of age.
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