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Health experts are concerned that Australians are downplaying the prospect of a serious flu season this year.

A new consumer survey, commissioned by Australian vaccine manufacturer Seqirus, asked 1000 adults aged 18 years and over about their attitudes to the flu.

The results showed less than half (45 per cent) think flu is a very serious condition that can lead to death in vulnerable people. Three in 10 respondents (29 per cent) said they are not intending to get vaccinated against the flu while another 11 per cent are still undecided.

Infectious disease expert Professor Robert Booy says that Australians could face a rude awakening this flu season after two years of few cases.

“For the last two years, we’ve had next to no flu, and vaccination rates have been low as well. As a consequence, the level of community protection has dropped significantly,” said Professor Booy.

“I’m concerned about the correlation between people who do not think that flu is serious and those who do not intend to get vaccinated.”

Professor Booy also said Australia has had some previous bad flu seasons.

“Modelling data from 2010-2019, estimates that Australia averaged nearly 2800 annual flu deaths, with more than 6,400 estimated deaths in 2017 and over 5200 in 2019.”


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