Flu cases double as experts warn jab vital now

AN alarming number of flu cases have led to calls for everyone to get their vaccination now.

In the first quarter of 2024, there were 26,836 influenza cases reported by the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) – by the end of February, case numbers were already double the number than what was reported the same time last year.
The flu season typically runs from May to October, however, flu vaccines are available now in community pharmacies.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is urging all eligible Australians to get their flu shot following an alarming number of flu cases across the country.
Its President Professor Trent Twomey said that getting vaccinated ahead of the flu season was important for protecting yourself and your loved ones from the flu and its complications.
“Although the vaccine will last throughout the year, it is most effective in the first three to four months following its administration,” he said.
“Community pharmacies stand ready to administer vaccines around the country.”
According to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), people who received an influenza vaccine in late 2023 are still recommended to get the flu vaccine in 2024.
ATAGI also advises that flu vaccines can be given on the same day as other vaccines, such as Covid.
Flu vaccines are free under the National Immunisation Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and over, children aged six months to under five years, pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, people aged 65 years or over, and people aged six months or over who have medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of getting serious disease.
Ask your community pharmacist about your flu vaccine or visit to book an appointment.