Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care

Fast-tracked flu season prompts urgent doctor warning

April 2, 2024 2 mins read

Australia’s flu season has been creeping forward in recent years, prompting a fast-tracked warning for Australians to get their vaccinations before the season arrives.


Bupa Health Services Medical Director Dr Tony MacDermott said historically low uptake of flu vaccinations could expose Australians to potentially avoidable harm.


“The flu season has been arriving earlier in recent years and we expect it to peak sometime in June, compared to August when the season peaked in years gone by,” Dr MacDermott said.


“The northern hemisphere flu season just gone has provided us with a glimpse of what we may see here soon - an earlier season than previous years with more cases and more hospitalisations.


“The flu is more than a bad cold, it can be deadly, and we shouldn’t underestimate it – now is not the time for flu vaccine complacency.”


Dr MacDermott encouraged people to get the flu vaccine before the end of May to help ensure they were covered throughout the flu season.


“We expect this year’s flu season to be as dangerous as last year, especially in combination with new COVID-19 strains that have hit Australia already,” he said.


“One of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself, your family and the community is to get a flu vaccine. This will also help take pressure off GPs and hospital emergency departments which are already under considerable pressure.”


Dr MacDermott said other measures to help protect against the flu included hand washing, staying home if feeling unwell and covering your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze.


Infants under six months, adults aged 65 years and above, people with chronic health conditions, and the indigenous community are the most vulnerable groups to the flu. The flu vaccine is available for free for these at-risk groups.


Advice for COVID-19 booster vaccinations for most adults aged between 18 and 74 is now one every 12 months. The previous advice of one every six months remains current for people aged 75-years-old and older.


Bupa has started delivering more than 52,000 flu vaccinations to organisations across Australia. They will be delivered onsite at workplaces and universities nationally and by our partnering pharmacies across more than 1,900 locations in Australia and New Zealand. 

Bupa corporate clients can still purchase flu shots for their employee and students.



Note to news desks:


Interviews available with Dr Tony MacDermott



For more information, please contact:
Aleks Devic                               
Senior Manager External Communications, Bupa                              



About Bupa Asia Pacific

Bupa is an international healthcare group which has been committed to a purpose of helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world for more than 70 years.

Bupa Asia Pacific operates in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, supporting about 7.3 million customers through a broad range of health and care services including health insurance, aged care, dental, medical, optical and hearing services.

Employing more than 22,000 people in the region, we believe that we can make a real difference to the lives of customers through our values, purpose and the way that we deliver personalised care.

Over the past 17+ years we have invested more than AUD$36 million in partnerships and programs focused on improving health of communities across Australia.



More from this category

  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 19/04/2024
  • 06:00
Leukaemia Foundation

Hon. Anna Bligh AC Joins Leukaemia Foundation as National Ambassador: A Decade in Remission from Blood Cancer

The Leukaemia Foundation today unveiled a powerful addition to its team of Ambassadors, the Honourable Anna Bligh AC. As the former Premier of Queensland…

  • Contains:
  • Community, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 18/04/2024
  • 22:00
Hepatitis NSW

Hepatitis NSW supports World Liver Day with launch of new website highlighting liver health

Hepatitis NSW has joined the worldwide movement to celebrate World Liver Day on Friday, 19 April 2024. World Liver Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of liver health. The liver is one of the most important organs in your body and is also one of the largest. The liver is an essential organ that performs over 500 functions, in doing so it supports the stomach, the heart and the blood. Specifically, it cleans blood, breaks down food, stores energy and vitamins, sends energy and vitamins to the parts of the body where it is all needed, clots the…

  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 18/04/2024
  • 15:08
Leukaemia Foundation

The biggest challenge of cancer patients that nobody talks about… How the Leukaemia Foundation is combatting cancer related fatigue

It’s the number one challenge of people with cancer in Australia[i], yet ‘cancer related fatigue’ is the often-unspoken side effect that drains and debilitates thousands of Australians every day. With approximately one in two cancer patients reportedly experiencing moderate to severe fatigue during treatment[ii], and for many in the years following, the Leukaemia Foundation believes the prevalence of cancer related fatigue could be much higher. According to CEO, Chris Tanti, with the incidence of blood cancer continuing to soar (by 47% in the last decade[iii]), this means at least 70,000 Australians living with the disease are facing a daily battle…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.