Health professionals say the cost-of-living crisis and vaccine "fatigue" are causing Australians to skip lifesaving jabs, with just 32 per cent of the population currently vaccinated against the flu.

Australian Immunisation Register data shows 8.5 million Australians were vaccinated against influenza between March 1 and July 9 this year, compared to 10.4 million at the same time last year.

Vaccination rates decreased in all states and territories, with the biggest drops recorded in South Australia (down 20.6 per cent), New South Wales (down 19.5 per cent), Victoria (down 18.9 per cent) and Queensland (down 18.6 per cent).

Meanwhile, there have been 116,473 influenza notifications reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System between January 1 to June 25 this year.

While health workers expected flu cases to surge after governments wound back COVID-19 social distancing and mask restrictions, they said this year's lower-vaccination rate meant the disease was spreading more rapidly through the community.

"The virus itself, less immunity naturally and less uptake in vaccines — all of those things combined together can make a pretty bad flu season," Royal College of General Practitioners SA chairperson Sian Goodson said.

"Unless the vaccine rate improves, we could be in for quite a large number of flu cases this year."

Dr Goodson said the low vaccination rate was "concerning".()

Influenza is a highly infectious respiratory viral illness that can result in breathing difficulties and pneumonia.

To June 25, 1,236 Australians were hospitalised with the flu, of whom 80 were admitted directly to intensive care.

A further 107 Australians have died after catching the flu this year.

Dr Goodson said the country's low-vaccination rate was "concerning" given how serious the disease could be.

"For people without underlying medical conditions, often it's a week of feeling very unwell and being in bed and not going to work, but for people who are older or very young, or who have other health conditions, it can be very serious indeed," she said.

Pharmacy guild says cost pressures 'a factor'

Pharmacy Guild SA vice-president Greg Scarlett said the number of people getting vaccinated against the flu at his Adelaide pharmacy had dropped by about 30 per cent over the past year.

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