While COVID vaccinations have been the focus of attention this year, regular flu vaccination remains as important as ever, Dr John Hall, president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) said.
"It is not the year to overlook this important health update. With life returning to a more normal routine and people moving about the country again, we are starting to see a resurgence of the usual colds, viruses and flus that circulate in the community," Dr Hall said.
"Flu vaccinations can help you to get through a winter without becoming really ill with a nasty virus, so we want to remind everyone that they still need to get this vaccine in addition to the COVID vaccine as they become eligible.
"Unfortunately, we can't administer them at the same time - there needs to be a two-week gap between each jab - so if you aren't eligible for the COVID vaccine just yet, or if it is not available in your community, now is the perfect time to get your flu shot done," Dr Hall said.
"If you are in the middle of your two COVID vaccinations, you can still get your flu shot as well, just provided it is two weeks from your other appointments."
He said the more people who are vaccinated for flu, the less it will circulate in the community, and that improves the health outcomes for everyone.
"Also, getting a flu vaccine may also mean you can escape the COVID poker up the nose and down the throat due to flu-like symptoms, which doctors throughout the pandemic have indicated is often the trigger for someone to get a COVID test," Dr Hall added.