Australians urged to vaccinate as the flu season approaches

Two days ago, VIVA! Communications teamed up the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to bring about a heightened awareness of flu vaccination, and complacency toward it, to the wider community with the release of the 2018 Flu Vaccination Study results.

The Study revealed alarming statistics concerning Australian adults flu vaccination uptake and understanding. Just one-in-two Australian adults plan to get their flu shot this year, despite the record-breaking flu season of 2017.

Other notable stats include 43 per cent of Australian adults failing to understand that annual flu vaccination is required for optimal protection against the virus, and more than half (57 per cent) of adults mistakenly consider themselves to be at low risk of contracting the flu.

The Guild National President, George Tambassis, Melbourne says Australian adults are generally misinformed about the seriousness, and unaware of some of the infectious aspects of the flu.

“Most Australians don’t realise how infectious the flu is, with 77 per cent of respondents unaware the flu virus can remain active when airborne for 45 minutes or more.

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

“Flu vaccinations promote community immunity, whereby if enough people are vaccinated against the infection, they can help protect those unable to be vaccinated, including immunocompromised/sick, or very young infants,” said Mr Tambassis.

On average, around 3,000 Australians die from the flu each year and 18,000 are hospitalised. With pharmacies Australia-wide able to vaccinate from 2017 onwards, few reasons exist to skip the vaccination this year.

The Study revealed 1 million Australian adults had a flu shot in pharmacy last year, and the VIVA! team plans to join those flocking to pharmacy in 2018 to get their flu jab.

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