Vaccination fatigue warning as flu season approaches
Bupa is encouraging Australians not to let vaccination fatigue stop them from getting the influenza (‘flu’) jab this year.
Medical forecasts predict more people will be hospitalised with the flu this year compared to last year through potentially reduced uptake of the flu shot, relaxation of face mask mandates and international travellers returning to the country.
Bupa Chief Medical Officer Dr Mark Lubliner said it was important for people to prioritise their annual flu vaccination, which could help prevent illness and even save lives.
“I know that some of us may have vaccination fatigue but now is not the time to stop protecting ourselves against the flu,” Dr Lubliner said.
“The flu is not just a bad cold – it can be fatal for vulnerable people.
Our hospital system remains under stress from the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the flu shot will also help take pressure off our hospitals by preventing more severe illness.
Influenza poses the highest risk for infants under six-months-old, adults 65 years and above, people with chronic health conditions, and the indigenous community.
“It is important that all of us are vaccinated for our own health and to protect these vulnerable groups,” Dr Lubliner said.
Dr Lubliner said the COVID-19 vaccine did not protect people against the flu, as they were two very different viruses.
He said people could get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot on the same day.
“These viruses are unrelated, so if you’re due for a COVID booster, get your influenza vaccine at the same visit to the doctor or pharmacy,” he said.
It is recommended people have their flu shots in April and May, ahead of the peak flu season between June and September.
Bupa has started delivering more than 51,500 flu vaccinations to businesses across Australia. They will be delivered onsite at workplaces nationally and by our partnering pharmacies across more than 2000 locations Australia wide.
Bupa corporate clients can still purchase flu shots for their employees here.
Dr Lubliner urged anyone with questions about the flu vaccination to speak to their doctor.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THE FLU
- Get the influenza vaccine.
- Practice good hand hygiene.
- Maintain physical distancing where practical.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose if you’re going to cough or sneeze.
- Wear a mask in the presence of vulnerable people.