CHOICE membership

Flu shots .2019 vaccine now available


Flu Tracking for Australia and New Zealand
has a weekly map which is useful.


Read that the 2019 flu vaccine is going to be updated as the season progresses in order to include later strains in later vaccines - so that people who need to get a second flu shot in the 2019 season will get a modified flu shot (reference anybody?)
NB: this is not a reason to delay getting your 2019 flu shot, as the longer you delay having it means the longer the period is that you are at increased risk of getting a strain of the flu itself.


Ans now we have the doctors criticising the Qld Government’s plan to allow pharmacists to issue repeat scripts but no mention of any complaints from the pharmacists though.

You have got to love the corcern with the patients’ best interests, oops, the concern with their own vested interests.



CSL says new cell based flu vaccines are 36% more effective. This indicates efficacy is part of the issue. 36% is a big leap. Unfortunately not available (from CSL) in Australia until 2021. A quick browse at TGA site I couldn’t see any cell based fluvax available in Aust. Info from USA CDC on cell based flu vax here. Flucelax mentioned is the CSL product.
Cell based vaccines can be brought to market faster if there is a pandemic or unexpected strain change.


My GP remarked that many leading edge products with much better efficacy than what we have available are often 2-5 years behind coming to market (approved in the US/EU) because of the TGA. Whether it is extreme conservatism in approving, under-funding and understaffing, I have no idea.

The TGA is interested in safety, only sometimes labelling, but not so much regarding efficacy, as I learned in previous exchanges with them – as I saw it, if they have a 35% effective ‘medicine’ already approved, and a 70% effective ‘medicine’ for X in the applications bin, they ‘see’ we have a ‘medicine’ for X so no ‘haste’ required so the newer, better one could languish in the process for years.


Me, I was very early - 12 March - travelling to a flu zone. Pharmacy had fresh stock on 8 March.

It would be interesting to see a statistical analysis. The longer you leave it, the longer you are at risk of an early infection. Or have it early and possibly(?) have less immunity to later infections.

Somewhere I saw seasonal rates for several years in USA. The end of season tail off was very coincident, however the peaks and distributions were inconsistent. Early peaks often more severe, would align with fewer vaccinations.


Hadn’t heard of it, yet around for several years. Many use it?


Totally agree. No one wants to increase their risk of getting the flu.
This is one of the reasons why the “2018 advice” does not apply to the 2019 flu vaccine. Decrease your risk by decreasing the time that you are unprotected by vaccination.