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There are renewed calls for Australians to have a flu shot

Influenza is not to be taken lightly Source: Getty

There are renewed calls for Australians to have a flu shot amid concerns that we're heading into this year's peak season less protected. While 70 percent of the population was vaccinated against it last year, this year is a different story.

The latest research indicates we are not well prepared; if that happens, with only 66 percent of seniors in the over 65 age bracket getting their dose compared to 90 percent last year.  

The near 24 percent decrease is a cause for concern for the age group most at risk.

The 18 and 65 age groups are also seeing a drop with 45 per cent vaccinated this year, compared to over 70 percent in 2020.  

Health advocates are calling for more government messaging for migrant and Indigenous communities where vaccine rates are low.  

The impacts of the 2015 swine flu pandemic are still front of mind for health professionals, including the President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association - Dr Tanya Schramm

We know the death rate for our Aboriginal community was about 5.8 times higher than the general community so an influenza vaccine for our community is incredibly important, to look after and care for elders to make sure we're not seeing a repeat of that sort of incident.

 

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this audio in Punjabi.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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