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Protect yourself and your loved ones with a flu shot and Covid booster today

As the flu season begins to take hold, Australians are being urged to book their annual flu vaccination as well as a Covid booster shot.

Close up of flu vaccine administered in a man's arm

Australian Medical Association President Professor Steve Robson said after many years of the Covid pandemic, it would be understandable if many Australians had a sense of “vaccine fatigue”.

“I know it can be tiring keeping up to date with flu shots after receiving several rounds of the Covid vaccine, but it is absolutely the best and easiest way to protect yourself and the ones you love from serious illness,” Professor Robson said.

“Influenza is no joke, and it can have devastating effects for vulnerable Australians, including the elderly and children.

“There really is no time to waste when it comes to getting your flu shot, and I urge as many people as possible to go book your flu shot today.”

Professor Robson said the Covid booster vaccine could be administered on the same day as the flu jab.

“The best time to defend yourself against Covid is when you get your flu shot. It is perfectly safe and effective to have the two shots administered one after the other in the same appointment,” he said.

“This week is World Immunisation Week (2430 April), which really is the ideal reminder to go and get your influenza and Covid vaccines. It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s safe.”

Free vaccines are available for people most at risk of complications through the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program.

Professor Paul Kelly, the head of the interim Australian Centre for Disease Control, said the highest notification rates for flu last year were in children under 14 years, and concerningly, the vaccine uptake in this same population group was very low.

Professor Robson urged parents to ensure their kids are protected.

“Influenza can be extremely serious and dangerous for children, especially for those under five years of age, so it is crucial they get their flu shots as soon as possible,” he said.

“The flu is not just a cold, it is an extremely serious virus that can lead to hospitalisation and death — but the good news is, there is a very simple form of protection available. Go book your flu shot today.”

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