Influenza Immunisation Program 2024

Influenza (flu) vaccination is recommended every year for anyone aged 6 months of age and over, to reduce the risk of becoming ill with the flu. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to have the flu vaccine every year. Flu viruses change over time, so a new flu vaccine is made each year.

The best time to vaccinate is in autumn, but flu vaccines can be given at any time during the flu season while the vaccine is available. It usually takes up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide protection.

Some groups of people are more likely to be seriously affected by flu than others and suffer more complications that can lead to hospitalisation. People in these high-risk groups are provided with a free flu vaccine.

Flu vaccines available under the National Immunisation Program (NIP)

The strains used in seasonal flu vaccines can change from year to year depending on which viruses are predicted to circulate in each upcoming season.

All funded vaccines available for use in Australia for the 2024 flu season are quadrivalent meaning they contain four strains - two influenza A and two influenza B.

For more information about the flu vaccine speak with your GP or immunisation provider or visit or see the Annual Funded Influenza Program 2024 South Australia Schedule (PDF 61KB).

Eligible groups under the National Immunisation Program

In 2024, free flu vaccination is available for people who are at greater risk of disease and developing complications if they get the flu, including:

In 2023, children younger than 5 years of age had the second highest number of flu cases compared to other age groups.

Babies and children younger than 5 years of age have a high risk of complications and being hospitalised from flu. This applies to all children in this age group, not just those with medical conditions.

Children with flu may spread the virus to others for up to two weeks.

If it is the first time children less than 9 years of age are having a flu vaccine, they should have two doses at least four weeks apart.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at high risk of complications and being hospitalised from flu.

Pregnant people who have flu infection late in their pregnancy are more likely to have complications or have a preterm baby.

Vaccinating pregnant people also helps protect their babies in the first few months when they are too young to be vaccinated themselves and are at high risk of serious complications and hospitalisation from flu.

Pregnant people who had the 2023 flu vaccine early in their pregnancy are recommended to have the 2024 flu vaccine if it is available before their baby is born.

Pregnant people who have received the 2024 flu vaccine prior to becoming pregnant are recommended to receive the 2024 flu vaccine again during their pregnancy to protect the baby.

Adults over 65 are more likely to be hospitalised and affected by complications from flu, such as pneumonia.

This age group receives a flu vaccine made specifically to boost the immune response for better protection.   

People with certain medical conditions are more likely to have complications and being hospitalised from flu. These medical conditions include:

  • cardiac disease
  • chronic respiratory conditions (including severe asthma)
  • chronic neurological conditions that increase the risk of respiratory infection (including hereditary and degenerative central nervous system diseases and seizure disorders)
  • immunocompromising conditions (including immunocompromised due to disease or treatment)
  • diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • renal disease
  • haematological disorders (including haemoglobinopathies)
  • children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy who are at increased risk of Reye syndrome following influenza infection.

Talk to your GP or immunisation provider or visit to find out if you are, or your child, is eligible.

Where to get your free flu vaccine

Eligible people can get the free flu vaccine from a range of immunisation providers including GPs, Aboriginal health services, some pharmacies and some local council and community clinics.

Talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or immunisation provider to arrange your free flu vaccine. 

While the flu vaccine is funded for eligible people some providers may charge a consultation or service fee.

For further information on immunisation providers, see the immunisation services page.

State funded influenza program for people experiencing homelessness

Adults and children who are experiencing homelessness and are not eligible for free flu vaccines under the NIP are eligible to receive flu vaccines for free under the state funded program.

Some providers may charge a consultation or service fee. Please discuss this with your immunisation provider when making your booking.

Flu vaccine dose recommendations

One flu vaccine per year is routinely recommended for most people.

Children under 9 years of age who get the flu vaccine for the first time are recommended to have two doses at least four weeks apart to improve their immune response. If a child received at least one flu vaccine in a previous year, they only need one dose in the following years.

Some people with certain immune compromising conditions may also need two doses.
Talk to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or immunisation provider if you are not sure if you, or your child, need a second dose of flu vaccine.

You can be given the flu vaccine and other routine vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, on the same day.

People with allergies

It is safe for people with an egg allergy, including a history of anaphylaxis, to have a flu vaccine. You do not have to be vaccinated in a hospital. If you have an egg allergy, discuss this with your immunisation provider. All funded influenza vaccines available in Australia in 2024 are latex-free.

Side effects

Most side effects are minor, last a short time and resolve without any treatment. Generally, common reactions such as fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness at the injection site begin within a few hours as the immune system starts to respond to the vaccine and last for 1 to 2 days.

You cannot get the flu from the vaccine because it does not contain any live flu virus. More serious reactions are rare. All unexpected side effects should be reported to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or immunisation provider.

Further information

For further information on the free flu vaccine programs, contact your local doctor or immunisation provider.