- New research commissioned by the Immunisation Coalition has revealed that only 35% of adults 18 – 64 plan to have a flu shot this year
- To help combat low vaccination rates, they are hosting free influenza vaccination clinics on Friday 29 April at Melbourne and Sydney Town Halls.
- Leading experts and members of the Immunisation Coalition are reminding Australians not to underestimate the flu.
Australia could be facing a severe flu season this winter and the Immunisation Coalition is concerned about low vaccination rates and low levels of immunity across the Australian population.
New research commissioned by the Immunisation Coalition has revealed that only 35% of adults 18 – 64 plan to have a flu shot this year. The research also shows that 73% of the adult population expect the flu to be worse this year than the previous 2 years.1
The Immunisation Coalition is concerned that Australians may be unprotected as strains of the flu arrive via international travel and are spread through increased domestic travel.
Flu circulation is also likely to increase with lockdowns ending, social-distancing being relaxed and greater population movement as people return to workplaces, schools and transportation.
To help combat low vaccination rates, the Immunisation Coalition (IC) is hosting free influenza vaccination clinics for people under 65 years of age on Friday 29 April at Melbourne and Sydney Town Halls.
In support of the initiative, the St Vincent’s Mobile Immunisation and Health Service will have their vehicles in the area.
Leading experts and members of the Immunisation Coalition are reminding Australians not to underestimate the flu.
Professor Robert Booy: “With 2 years of little flu circulation, and with international borders opening up, it is highly likely we will see a resurgence of influenza this year. We are already seeing this in the most recent figures in Australia and its important that everyone gets vaccinated.”
“The latest research shows that people are aware that we could be in for a bad flu season but that’s not translating to people booking a vaccination appointment with their GP or pharmacist.”
Dr Rod Pearce AM: “Flu can be life-threatening, with a typical flu season in Australia being responsible for more deaths than the annual road toll. We all have decreased immunity as a result of not being exposed to the flu virus for the last two years, while many of us didn’t get a flu shot last year.”
“While today is about vaccinating adults, we shouldn’t forget about the importance of making sure our children are also vaccinated against influenza. Young children and older adults are at a higher risk for serious influenza-related complications than the rest of the population.”
Data from seven major Australian hospitals from 2017 and 2018 found between 10-15% of children admitted with influenza needed intensive care and up to 84% of all hospitalised children were unvaccinated.2
Karen Booth, President of APNA: “There is a large cohort of children under the age of five years who will either have never been, or had little exposure, to influenza in the past two to three years. They will be at high risk of catching the virus if not vaccinated. Little kids carry big bugs and can readily pass the virus on to vulnerable family and friends.”
Kim Sampson, Immunisation Coalition CEO: “Our research is showing that less than one third of men under the age of 65 plan to get a flu shot this year. If we have a severe flu season, this could have considerable impact on an already depleted workforce and stressed supply chains.”
“It’s important that Australians take advantage of the available protections in the coming weeks and get vaccinated to help protect themselves and those around them.”
Leanne Boase, President of the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners: “We commend everyone for their enormous effort during the pandemic which resulted in such high rates of COVID 19 vaccination, limiting severe disease, and hospitalisations. We urge you not to underestimate influenza, and make sure you have your flu shot this year. Protect yourself, your loved ones, including your children, ahead of what is predicted to be a resurgence of influenza. Together we can reduce the impact.”
Andrew Chan, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s Healthcare for the Homeless: “The St Vincent’s Mobile Immunisation and Health Service takes vaccinations directly to the those who are vulnerable in the community, providing a safe and secure environment to deliver integral care. By providing vaccinations in spaces where people feel safe and connected, we can ensure these people aren’t left behind.”
David Faktor, St Vincent’s Sydney: “Throughout the world right now, the effectiveness of vaccines is proving vitally important. St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has been very fortunate to partner with other like-minded front-line organisations to provide COVID vaccine access to vulnerable populations and those experiencing homelessness throughout Sydney over the pandemic period, including through our St Vinnies Vax Van. This collaboration is now seeing us provide flu vaccinations in addition to general health support throughout winter”.
Please speak with your trusted GP, nurse practitioner or pharmacist if you have any questions about flu vaccination, including which vaccine is suitable for you.