NOW is the time to get your annual flu shot, according to a local GP.
The Caledonian Medical Service's Leanne Jones said it is best to get a flu shot before the colder months settle in and colds and flus have taken hold in the community.
In launching the Influenza Specialist Group's Flu Smart campaign yesterday, Dr Jones said a particularly bad season of flu in the Northern hemisphere during its past winter was expected to be replicated in Australia in the coming months.
``It's a very simple thing to do - your doctor will be able to give you the shot,'' Dr Jones said.
``It may also be accessible through some pharmacists, and some workplaces are offering employees the opportunity to have it done too.''
She said it was particularly important that those aged over 65 with chronic conditions such as type 1 or 2 diabetes, who smoked, were obese or pregnant or were of Aboriginal background had the shot.
It was also recommended for health workers or carers so they did not put any patients at risk.
Dr Jones said it was important that individuals remembered to have the shot annually as the flu strain changed each year.
Influenza accounted for about 1500 deaths each year in Australia - similar to the annual road toll.