Unprecedented demand for the flu vaccine, as cases plummet

Demand for the flu vaccine this year has been so high that two million extra doses are being distributed across the country.

This will bring the total number available to a record 18 million.

More than 7.3 million flu vaccines have already been administered by doctors and pharmacists compared to 4.5 million doses during for the same period last year.

There has been an unprecedented demand for flu vaccines this year.

Since lockdown the number of flu cases has nosedived, with just 138 cases detected nationally, compared to 30,372 in May last year.

"We've seen numbers almost non-existent," Kim Sampson from Immunisation Coalition told 9News.

"I believe, as do many of my colleagues, that this is because of the restrictions that have been undertaken like social distancing and good hand hygiene."

Australians have had trouble accessing the flu vaccine through some private suppliers.

Mr Sampson said it was critical to get vaccinated against the flu even in the knowledge that it won't protect people from coronavirus.

"If you've just come out of a flu infection and then you're infected with COVID, it could be catastrophic," said Mr Sampson.

"And vice versa."

"Both influenza and COVID-19 cause serious respiratory illness. The combination of both diseases could be life threatening, especially for our vulnerable people," Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Wednesday.

Source: 9News

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