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There are fresh calls for Aussies to get vaccinated ahead of the winter cold and flu season, amid warnings of a virus “triple threat”.

Health insurer Bupa is leading the charge, claiming the flu season this year will arrive earlier than expected, and be worse than last year – with a higher rate of hospitalisations, based on modelling from the northern hemisphere’s recent flu season.

Bupa’s chief medical officer, Dr Tony MacDermott, says it’s building to a “perfect storm” of Covid-19 and other flu-like illnesses.

“The best protection will always be prevention, and our advice to people who are due for their Covid booster is to get their flu shot together with their Covid booster ahead of the winter season,” says Dr MacDermott, who is urging Australians to get their jabs by the end of May.

“Each virus is different, affecting individuals in different ways, so it’s important to get both shots – they’re perfectly safe to receive on the same day.

“The higher risk of being hospitalised with the flu this year means it’s even more important to get vaccinated, especially for high-risk groups.

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