All returning travellers should be required to be vaccinated against influenza, says an editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia.
According to the journal, not only should arrivals be vaccinated before departing their place of origin, Australians planning on heading overseas for a northern winter should make sure that they’ve had the flu jab before leaving, the AFR reported.
If this isn’t done, Australia could risk an early outbreak of the flu, before our national flu campaign begins (which is most likely in April next year), the journal claims. And this, mixed with COVID-19 could overwhelm the public health system.
What if you’ve already had this year’s flu shot? The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) normally doesn’t recommend re-vaccination against flu in the same year as protection is expected to last through the year, but a second dose may benefit those who travel.
Optimal protection from the flu jab occurs in the first three or four months, ATAGI says.
NSW Health recommends those travelling into a northern winter should get the flu jab at least two weeks before departure, even if they had one in the first half of the year.
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