Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

immunisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Respiratory diseases are a major cause of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Influenza (6 months and over) and Pneumococcal (50 years and over,) vaccines are recommended and funded for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Influenza

Influenza (commonly known as ‘flu’) is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. For more information visit the Influenza webpage. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over can have a free annual influenza vaccine.  Each year the influenza vaccine changes to match the strains of flu expected to be circulating that year.  To better protect you and your family from the flu, it is important to be vaccinated every year. Please speak with your family doctor or other immunisation provider for more information (a consultation fee may apply).

Invasive Pneumococcal Disease

Invasive Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae.  Pneumococcal disease can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infection and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain).  This vaccine is free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years or older and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with high-risk underlying medical conditions. Please speak with your family doctor or other immunisation provider for more information (a consultation fee may apply).

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles (also called herpes zoster) is the disease caused when the chickenpox virus reactivates. It is a painful skin rash that often includes blisters. The rash usually appears on one side of your face or body and lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. Persistent pain from shingles lesions (known as Post Herpetic Neuralgia) can be very severe and can last for a year or more.  Shingrix® is a two-dose funded vaccine for protection against Shingles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People aged 50 years and over.

It is important to have both doses to get good protection. Please speak with your family doctor or other immunisation provider for more information (a consultation fee may apply).
 

Page last updated on: 3 Nov 2023