Flu Vaccine

Flu vaccines available in your local pharmacy.

Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications. It is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over. Influenza (flu) vaccines are given each year to protect against the most common strains of the virus.

Community pharmacies offer convenient and accessible flu vaccination services, and pharmacists are trained to administer vaccines.

Why is flu vaccination important?

The flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause severe illness. However, vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

By getting vaccinated, you not only reduce your risk of serious illness but also help prevent the disease from spreading to vulnerable populations.

Flu vaccination in 2023 is particularly important as flu activity is expected to continue following a resurgence of the virus circulating in 2022.

Who should get vaccinated against influenza?

Anyone aged 6 months and over can be vaccinated against the flu. Talk to your local community pharmacist about getting vaccinated.

Some people are eligible to get the flu vaccine funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).The eligibility criteria for the NIP is:

  • All children aged 6 months to <5 years (two doses are recommended and funded in the first year of vaccination)
  • All adults aged 65 years and over
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months of age and over
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 5 to <65 years who have certain medical conditions

You can find information about how to access NIP vaccines on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

In some states and territories, flu vaccines may also be provided for free to people not listed above. Speak to your local community pharmacist or contact your state or territory health department to find out more.

If you’re not eligible for a NIP funded flu vaccine, a community pharmacist can still administer your vaccine.

Pregnant women can receive the vaccine at any stage during pregnancy.

When should I get vaccinated?

Ideally you should receive your annual flu vaccination before the start of the flu season, with optimal protection occurring in the first three to four months following vaccination. The peak period of circulation of flu usually occurs from June to September in most parts of Australia.

If you are planning international travel ensure you have had a 2023 flu vaccination before departure.

2023 flu vaccinations

Flu vaccines are given as an injection, usually in the upper arm. It is important to get the right vaccine for your age. Your local community pharmacist can tell you which vaccine they will use for you or your child's flu vaccine. For information on seasonal flu vaccines in 2023, please see ATAGI’s advice.

ATAGI advises that COVID-19 vaccines can be given as the same time as a flu vaccine. Trials have shown that administering COVID-19 and flu vaccines together raises no safety concerns and preserves the immune response to both vaccines. It may result in higher incidence of mild to moderate adverse effects.

In children aged 6 months to <5 years, flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given together if separation would be logistically challenging. Co-administration may lead to higher rates of adverse effects, including fever.

A flu vaccine can be given on the same day with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Egg-based flu vaccines under the NIP contain minute traces of egg protein, but they are sage for people with egg allergy, including a history of anaphylaxis. If you have an egg allergy, please discuss this with the pharmacist administering your vaccine.

If you have previously experienced anaphylaxis after any flu vaccine or any component of an flu vaccine, you should not receive a flu vaccine.

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