WA doctors are turning away patients wanting to get this year's flu vaccine early after a horror flu season in the US claimed the lives of more than 80 children and thousands of adults.
Though local health authorities will not launch their winter flu campaign until full stocks arrive later this week, some GPs are already getting calls from patients wanting to be vaccinated.
Several pharmacy chains are starting their in-store vaccination programs earlier than normal and getting in extra stock.
Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said he had been turning away patients at his Port Kennedy GP clinic who wanted the flu vaccine.
"There is a lot of interest, which is a very good thing because the flu vaccine is so important, but it is still early days," Dr Choong said.
"We know the vaccine works effectively for at least six months so having it now would put you through to September, whereas our flu season is really from July to late September and early October."Dr Choong said the northern hemisphere flu season tended to be a good indication of what was ahead for Australia.
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