Half of Aussies won’t vaccinate for the flu this year – will you?

A poll has revealed one in two Australians do not plan to vaccinate against influenza this year.
A poll has revealed one in two Australians do not plan to vaccinate against influenza this year.

Less than one in two Australians plan to vaccinate against influenza despite the country suffering through one of its worst seasons last year.

About 45 per cent of people are planning to vaccinate for the coming flu season, a poll commissioned by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has found.

Almost one in two baby boomers were vaccinated last year while less than a third of millennials had the jab, the survey of 1000 people revealed.Are you planning to receive the flu vaccination this year?

“Our research showed more than half of Australian adults mistakenly consider themselves to be at low risk of contracting the flu,” the guild’s president George Tambassis said in a statement on Monday.

“The flu virus can affect anyone, even the fit and healthy, so your best defence against the flu is vaccination.”

By October last year, the number of reported cases of influenza in Bendigo in 2017 had more than quadrupled compared with the same time the previous year.

The majority of cases occurred in people older than 85 years of age.

Region-wide, 867 cases had been reported in the Loddon Mallee, up by more than 190 per cent; and, statewide, 26,775 notified cases, up by almost 135 per cent.

Earlier this month, Australia’s peak body for general practitioners warned there was no need for people to rush to get a flu vaccination as soon as they became available.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Bastian Seidel said urging patients to receive the vaccination too early in the year could put them at risk.

The college was concerned vaccine providers were already peddling their products, though influenza season typically strikes from June to September.