A SCHOOL holiday activity of a different kind could be on the schedule as children under 15 are urged to roll up their sleeves for a free flu jab.
The program was set to finish on Thursday but the state government announced it will make flu shots available at no cost until July 17.
Priceline pharmacist Muhammad Omar Awan welcomed the extension of the initiative.
"I think that will give people a chance to come and get the vaccination before they decide to travel across the country enjoying the school holidays," he said.
"I think people should be protecting themselves and the flu vaccine is very much safe."
He said the flu shot had been in play for a long time.
"There isn't any adverse reaction from the flu vaccine, not the long term, not the short term," he said.
Just 17.2 per cent of kids aged five to 15 in Tamworth were vaccinated against influenza between March 1 and June 25, in line with data from across the country, according to the Australian Immunisation Register.
Post-lockdown socialising and the cool weather have helped the case counts for the flu, COVID and other respiratory illnesses blow out locally.
The most vaccinated age group when it came to the flu in Tamworth were people over the age of 65, with 72.5 per cent of them having gotten the jab.
Although Mr Awan said the ideal time to get vaccinated against influenza is during April and May, it is not too late.
"I personally think it's a good decision, because we're just going to the school holidays," he said.
"As the health professional, I would advise people to come forward and get the flu jab."
In Tamworth Regional 37.5 per cent of people over the age of six months have been vaccinated.
In nearby Newcastle, almost half the total population has had an influenza jab.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was worrying that the flu jab rate across the state was low among children.
"It only takes a few minutes to get a flu jab but that time could mean the difference between you or one of your loved ones ending up in ICU so please, book in today," he said.
Check in with your local pharmacy or GP to find out how to access the influenza vaccine.
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