Flu season nothing to sneeze at

2019 Australia's worst flu season on record

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Australia has battled through its worst flu season on record.

Australia has battled through its worst flu season on record.


It's official: 2019 will go down as Australia's worst flu season on record.


SEEM like every second person you met over the past few months had the flu?

You weren't imagining it because it's official: 2019 has been the worst flu season on record.

It topped 2017 - the previous worst year - by 52,000, with a total of 302,000 flu notifications.

"This year, 812 people tragically lost their lives to the flu nationally and there were more than 302,000 laboratory confirmed cases," said Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president George Tambassis.

"We must be doing everything we can to reduce this figure, and we know that the only effective way to prevent the flu is through vaccination."

Mr Tambassis said that thanks to the affordability and convenience of a "walk-in" appointment, more than two million people received their flu jab from a pharmacist this year - the third year pharmacists have been able to administer the flu vaccination in every state and territory.

In Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, children as young as 10 are eligible to receive their flu shot from community pharmacists.

Given the success of community pharmacists in bolstering vaccination rates, the guild has now called for the National Immunisation Program to be extended to community pharmacies, where free vaccines are funded to those in at-risk groups such as over-65 or people with asthma.