Free flu shots in Sydney, Melbourne | The Ararat Advertiser

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Town halls in Sydney and Melbourne will host free flu vaccination clinics as health authorities warn Australians to prepare for flu season. Influenza has been less prominent over the past two years as restrictions targeting COVID-19 reduced travel, but with restrictions ending across the country, an increase in influenza infections is expected. Research commissioned by vaccine advocacy group the Coalition for Immunization found that only 35% of adults under the age of 65 planned to get a flu shot this year, while 73% expected to may this year’s season be worse than 2020 and 2021. The group is holding a free flu shot. clinics for the under 65s on Friday at Melbourne and Sydney town halls with support from St Vincent’s Mobile Immunization and Health Service. “The latest research shows that people are aware that we might have a bad flu season, but that’s not translating into people making vaccination appointments with their GP or pharmacist,” said Robert Booy, member of the Vaccine Coalition. More people die from the flu than in the annual road toll of a typical flu season, and immunity has likely waned due to lack of exposure over the past two years, the president of the coalition, Rod Pearce. It is important that adults and children get vaccinated, with younger and older Australians at greater risk of flu-related complications, he added. A severe flu season could also exacerbate lingering labor and supply chain issues. The Australian College of Nursing has also called on Australians to ensure their vaccinations are up to date. “As the colder months approach, now is the time to get vaccinated to ensure you and your loved ones are protected,” said ACN CEO Kylie Ward. Australian Associated Press

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