RACGP applauds Queensland RSV immunisation rollout

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has warmly welcomed the Queensland Government rolling out free infant RSV vaccinations to save lives.

It comes following reports of the Government rolling out a $31 million immunisation program to offer all Queensland families free immunisations for newborn babies against the potentially deadly virus. Recently, the College welcomed Western Australia becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to rollout an infant RSV immunisation and urged Tasmania to follow suit.

In 2024 so far, 6,000 cases of RSV have been recorded, which is nearly double the number of cases last year in the same period up to March 17.

RACGP Queensland Chair, Dr Cathryn Hester, described the immunisation program as a game changer for Queensland families.

“This RSV immunisation rollout will save lives,” she said.

“I applaud the Queensland Government for rolling out this free, lifesaving immunisation program for all families in every corner of the state. Babies aged six months and under are the ones most prone to developing severe symptoms including lung infections that can lead to hospitalisation. Even if they emerge from hospital with a clean bill of health, it’s an incredibly traumatic experience for any family to go through.

“Some families may not realise that RSV is the number one cause of hospitalisation for children aged five and under. Unfortunately, in Queensland unlike other states and territories, we have year-round cases of this virus as we don’t have predictable seasons. So, this only adds to the challenge, and makes today’s announcement even more welcome. I encourage all families to take advantage of this RSV immunisation, as well as free flu vaccines, and meningococcal B vaccines for kids and adolescents.”

Dr Hester said that the College eagerly awaited

/Public Release.