close up of woman receiving flu vaccine injection
(Image: AAP/Stefan Postles)

Australia has done well to flatten the coronavirus curve. Even taking into account Victoria’s clusters, numbers are low by global standards: 104 people have died from COVID-19 compared with more than 500,000 worldwide.

Meanwhile, between 290,000 and 650,000 die around the world every year from the flu. 

The mass change in behaviour that helped keep our COVID-19 numbers down has had the side effect of limiting the spread of influenza. From the start of 2020 to May 31 (the latest data available) there have been just 36 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated deaths. There were 147 at the same time last year.