Chris Ison

Free flu shots made available

A NEW four-strain flu vaccine is available for free to at-risk Australians.

The Federal Government is rolling out the 2016 vaccine, which protects against the Brisbane strain.

That strain led to 2015 being called the worst flu season in many years.

In 2015, about 17,000 flu patients were hospitalised and about 7% required admission to intensive care.

About 4.48 million free doses of the new flu booster, worth $31 million. Pregnant women and young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are among those who can access the vaccine at no cost.