Pharmacists have warned that the jab won't protect show-goers this week.
Pharmacists have warned that the jab won't protect show-goers this week. scyther5

Increased risk of flu at Ekka as vaccine takes effect

WITH more than 83 killed by a deadly influenza this year in Queensland alone, pharmacists warn Ekka-goers won't be safe even if they get the jab today.

Queensland is on-track for one of its most devastating flu outbreak in recent times, with 83 flu-related deaths recorded in the state so far, and thousands more hospitalised.

These statistics only extend to August 1, and the toll has already risen since then, including the tragic death of a Toowoomba mother at the weekend.

With the Ekka usually being a peak period for new flu cases, it's likely that flu-related deaths in Queensland this year will more than double the 2018 death toll of 43.

These alarming statistics highlight the importance of getting the flu vaccine, even though the official flu 'season' may now be nearing its end.


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It's too late for the flu jab to do any good if you're heading to the Ekka. iStock

"It's pretty late in the season, most of our suppliers have finished, they're not making any more flu shots," Eloise Cullen, from Guardian Pharmacy said.

"We're still doing it, because some immunity is better than none."

Ms Cullen said the flu could pose a danger all year round, and it was up to people's personal preferences whether they had the shot, but those who were getting it specifically for the Ekka may have left things too late.

"It takes two to three weeks to get fully immunised from the shot, so people who are getting immunised now aren't going to be as covered as people who've had it earlier in the year," she said.