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More Australians ready to fight the flu

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Vaccinations for influenza is a success story in Australia, with almost 30 per cent more people across the nation prepared for the flu season this year.

AMA President Dr Tony Bartone described the uptake as “an enormous success of a campaign to get everyone to get their flu vaccine on the back of a horror season last year”.

Talking to Sky News, Dr Bartone said there have been almost a third more immunisations this year than last, which adds up to a good news story for Australia.

“It’s really hard to predict that kind of successful increase in demand. And so, what the authorities have done have made sure that even right now as we speak… almost another million doses of influenza vaccination are coming online.

“(It) will really bolster the shortfall, especially in that 18 to 65-year gap. We know that nearly 85 per cent of the people over 65 eligible for that free flu vaccine have had that – that’s an enormous successful uptake.

“And there’s still stocks of that particular vaccine that you can find if you ring your doctor or hunt around. We’ve got plenty of the stock of the under-three-year-olds available as well.

“So, it’s really that unfortunately because of a horror season last year, we’ve had a very successful campaign; people heeded the message very quickly. And I think there’s some lessons to be learned about timing and logistics.

“It’s still not too late to have your vaccination… the peak can be anywhere from July to September or maybe just beyond there. They’re the peak four months of the year. It’s always hard to predict flu seasons; they don’t always come in succession.”