Sick person lies on couch underneath blanket.

As the number of flu cases increases, vaccination is encouraged. So, how effective is this year’s jab?

Australia had a few almost flu-free yearsbut the disease has come back — and then some — in the past month.

just shy 10,600 cases of flu were reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System in the first third of this year, with more than 7,000 of those diagnosed in the two weeks between April 25 and May 8.

That’s compared to just 598 reported flu cases in all of 2021, thanks in large part to closed borders and COVID restrictions.

Now, if Australians go into winter with little natural immunityand address the potential risk of co-infection with COVID-19, experts say getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever

“We have about 600,000 children under the age of two who have never seen the flu, so that’s a pretty sizable population of young children who are completely susceptible,” Sheena Sullivan, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Doherty Institute, told ABC News. †

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