Free flu vaccines are being rushed out in South Australia in response to the highest number of cases in more than a decade.

Close to 4,500 cases of the flu have been reported in South Australia since the start of the year, which is almost four times as many as the same time last year.

In response, the government has begun distributing free vaccines this week for those who are eligible.

“The State Government is again funding free flu shots for about 90,000 eligible children aged between six months and under five years to help protect vulnerable young children and minimise the spread of the flu,” said the Health Minister, Stephen Wade.

Mr Wade said under the free program, 90,000 children are eligible to receive the vaccine, which remains the best way to protect them from the disease and limit its spread.

Influenza is known to be most serious for babies, people over 65 years of age and pregnant women.

Eligibility for a free flu vaccine includes people in the following groups:

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–Children aged under five
–Adults aged 65 years and over
–Anyone 6 months and over with certain medical risk factors
–All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 6 months and over
–Pregnant women

Contact your GP, local council, or immunisation provider to take advantage of your free vaccine.

If you are not eligible for a free one, you are still encouraged to get vaccinated. The vaccine will cost you between $10 and $25. Besides visiting your local GP, some pharmacies are also doing the flu vaccination.

– via AAP & Ellie Aragon

Mix 102.3 Adelaide