The COVID-19 pandemic is still rumbling away here in Australia, albeit quietly, — in places like India, it continues to be catastrophic — and to add to the issue, flu season is now upon us.
Last year it wasn’t particularly noticeable or noteworthy, we were taking our lockdowns, mask restrictions, and sanitation efforts so seriously, we barely gave the flu a chance. However, according to health professionals flu seasons often “yo-yo” — one year, the numbers are down significantly, the next year, there is a rebound effect where rates skyrocket.
And you can guess which this year is going to be, right? That’s right — it’s a rebound year.
Mary-Louise McLaws, from the World Health Organisation, was quoted in Yahoo! News saying, “It is unrealistic to expect that life will return to normal this year. While we have almost no COVID-19 local transmissions and with COVID vaccines being rolled out Australians are still at risk of influenza.”
One of the biggest issues we’re facing this year — flu wise, that is — is that one in four Australians intend to skip the flu shot this year, according to one GP.
Combine that with the fact borders are opening and restrictions are lifting countrywide — unless there’s a quick COVID scare, that is — and the news that there are new, emerging influenza strains, oh, and the fact our herd immunity has dropped this year…Well, we’re in for one hell of a flu season (potentially literally).
The same aforementioned GP, talking to Kidspot, urges people to get their flu vaccine this year. Dr Sam Hay says anyone six months and up should be getting one, and yes, it’ll cover the new influenza strains we just talked about (A-H1N1(pdm09) and A-H3N2, if you’re interested).
If you’re wondering when you should go and get your flu vaccine, they’re available now, and we’ve covered other common flu vaccine queries here. Organisations like The Immunisation Coalition, are running free clinics at the Melbourne and Sydney Town Halls on April 30.
Ready to get your shot? Call up your GP to book one, or chat to them via telehealth if you still have any concerns.