BACKGROUND BRIEFING: Achoo! What's up with the flu?

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

There have already been a total of 35,204 laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia for 2019, a number that is already halfway to the total number of cases for 2018. Researchers are expecting there to be around 4,000 deaths due to complications to do with flu. Join us for this online briefing to hear from four experts to discuss what's happening to make 2019 so bad, as well as who is most at risk.

Organisation/s: The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, The University of Melbourne

Media Briefing/Press Conference

From: Australian Science Media Centre

The briefing will discuss the following issues:

  • Why is this season so bad?
  • What are the strains that are being detected in this year’s infections?
  • Did we cover them in the vaccine?
  • Is it a good idea to get the jab now?
  • When is the best time to get the jab?
  • Who’s most at risk, why?
  • What would be a real game changer to combat influenza?
  • Why should pregnant women get a flu shot?
  • Any evidence on anti-vaxxers causing any extra problems?


  • Professor William (Bill) Rawlinson AM is a Senior Medical Virologist, Director of Serology, Virology and OTDS Laboratories (SAViD) | NSW Health Pathology Randwick | UNSW
  • Professor Robert Booy is a researcher in child & adolescent health from the Sydney Medical School, The Children's Hospital at Westmead | University of Sydney
  • Dr Elizabeth McCarthy is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynocology | University of Melbourne
  • Dr Kirsty Short is a Research Fellow at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences | University of Queensland

Date: 07 May 2019

This briefing has now finished. If you would like to see the recording, you can find the link below.


  • Australian Science Media Centre
    Web page
    Briefing Recording

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