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Doctors warn flu shots may not last the season

Healthcare professionals are warning the flu vaccine may not cover people for the full season, as new data reveals the severity of this year’s strain.

Dr Richard Kidd, Chair of the Australian Medical Association Council of General Practice, said there are concerns the vaccine may wear off after three months.

“The peak immunity is about a month after you get the shot, and by three months after the shot it is waning a bit,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“It’s possible that vaccine will still stand you in good course for the whole of that season, but it’s something that still needs more research.”

Dr Kidd stressed that the vaccine only covers some strains of the flu, and it’s still possible to get sick if you’ve been immunised.

“Even during the season we have new strains emerge and the flu vaccine may or may not protect you against those,” he said.

The flu season generally lasts from June to September, but this year’s season began much earlier than usual.

162 people have died from the flu in Australia this year, according to the federal Health Department.

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