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A pre-winter wellness boost for The Big Issue vendors

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To help keep vendors of The Big Issue healthy as Australia faces an earlier-than-usual flu season, The Bupa Foundation is providing them with free flu vaccinations to support their wellbeing. 

This is part of an ongoing program between the Bupa Foundation and The Big Issue, which started in 2018 and has delivered more than 1,000 free vaccinations to vendors over the years.

The 2024 vaccinations have been offered at The Big Issue sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth across April and May. 

Bupa Asia Pacific Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer, Roger Sharp, said the initiative reflects Bupa’s commitment to improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities. 

“The Big Issue is an inspiring social enterprise that empowers people who are experiencing homelessness or disadvantage to earn an income and reconnect with their local community and wider society.” 

“Through the Bupa Foundation we are delighted to support The Big Issue vendors by providing them with flu shots which can help prevent infection and help them maintain their wellbeing as we enter the cold winter period,” said Sharp. 

According to the Australian Department of Health, the 2024 flu season is expected to be more severe than the previous years, due to the emergence of new strains of the virus with confirmed cases up 40 per cent over the same period last year. 

CEO of The Big Issue Steven Persson said the program is beneficial for those living on the margins. 

“We are thankful for the ongoing support from Bupa, providing annual flu vaccinations to The Big Issue vendors to help keep them safe and healthy while they are selling magazines on the street.” 

“People experiencing homelessness and disadvantage may not have adequate access to health resources like vaccinations, so we are grateful for this opportunity.” 

Since 1996, The Big Issue has enabled vendors around Australia to earn a meaningful income, build their confidence and connect with their community and support networks with over $38 million earned by vendors to date. 

Bupa urges Australians to support The Big Issue vendors by buying a copy of the magazine if they can and to book their own flu vaccination at their local GP or pharmacy to protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.

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