RACGP condemns push for early flu vaccination

A media blitz encouraging people to get their flu shots as early as possible could undermine the efficacy of this year’s vaccine program, the RACGP says.

Pharmacy giant Chemist Warehouse began offering $11 flu shots to customers on Monday, plugging the deal in stores and on its website. A number of Priceline pharmacies will start offering the vaccinations next week.

It follows the NSW government announcement of a multi-pronged strategy to avoid a repeat of last year’s costly flu season, including encouragements to get the flu shot in April, as soon as it is available.

But the RACGP says May is the best time to get vaccinated, because the effectiveness can wear off.

“Urging patients to receive their flu vaccination too early [may put them at] serious risk,” RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel says.

He cites recent