AMA is urging all Australians to get their seasonal flu vaccination now, with general practices across the country having recently received stock ahead of the upcoming flu season.
“Winter is coming, and influenza remains a very serious illness, particularly for the vulnerable members of our community,” AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said.
“Thousands of Australians are admitted to hospitals with influenza complications each year.
“Last year we saw record flu vaccinations, which was fantastic. We need to do the same again this year.
“The message is simple: get your flu vaccine now.
“There were significant social distancing measures in place last year that not only helped keep COVID-19 at bay, they also meant that cases of influenza were down significantly from previous years.
“Influenza has not gone away and with life now largely returning to normal, we mustn’t become complacent.
“Our public hospitals are at capacity and patients are waiting longer in emergency departments, getting the flu vaccination is just as important as ever.
“Don’t end up in hospital due to flu complications.
“The influenza virus changes each year, which is why it’s important to get the latest season’s new four-strain vaccine.
“Getting the flu shot now will better protect you from the serious prospect of having both COVID-19 and influenza at the same time. It is the only safe, proven, and tested way of not becoming an influenza statistic.
“Your family GP is best placed to advise you on the different formulations and to help you plan your flu shot around your COVID-19 vaccine.”
Current guidelines stipulate a 14-day gap between a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccination and GPs can help patients understand which one they should get first.