2019 Influenza Immunisation Program
Influenza (flu) vaccination
Influenza (flu) vaccination is recommended every year for any person 6 months of age and over, who would like to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with the flu.
As the strains of flu virus can change from year to year, receiving a flu vaccine every year provides the best protection against current flu virus strains.
The best time to vaccinate is autumn, but flu vaccine can be given at any time during the flu season while vaccine is available. It usually takes up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide protection.
People with egg allergy
State Funded Childhood Influenza Program
Children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age are eligible to receive the influenza vaccine Fluarix Tetra® for free under the State Funded Childhood Influenza Program. This is a quadrivalent influenza vaccine.
Children with medical risk factors are eligible to receive a funded influenza vaccine through the National Immunisation Program.
Two doses of vaccine at least one month apart are recommended for children aged less than 9 years, when getting flu vaccine for the first time.
Vaccines available under the National Immunisation Program
Quadrivalent influenza vaccines (four strains - two influenza A and two influenza B).
- FluQuadri Junior® – for those 6 months to less than 3 years of age
- Fluarix® Tetra - for all those from 6 months of age
- FluQuadri® - for those from 3 years of age
- Afluria Quad® - for those 5 years of age and over.
Trivalent influenza vaccine (three strains - two influenza A and one influenza B).
- Fluad® - for those aged 65 years and over.
Fluad® influenza vaccine is latex free in 2019.
Note: This adjuvanted vaccine has been formulated to produce a higher immune response for older people, offering better protection.
Eligible groups under the National Immunisation Program
As part of the 2019 Annual Influenza Program (PDF 55KB), free flu vaccination is available for people who are at greater risk of disease and developing complications if they get the flu.
The free flu vaccine is available for:
- everyone aged 65 years and over
- all pregnant women (any trimester)
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- people six months of age or older with the following underlying chronic medical conditions:
- cardiac disease,
- chronic respiratory conditions, including severe asthma
- chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including hereditary and degenerative central nervous system diseases
- 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.
Not free but highly recommended
In addition to those eligible for the free flu vaccine, the following groups are strongly recommended to have the vaccine:
- health care workers
- anyone who works in a nursing home or long term care facility
- anyone who lives in a household with a person who is in a high risk category
- people providing essential services, for example police or ambulance officers
- anyone over 5 years of age who wishes to reduce the likelihood of getting the flu
- staff working in early childhood education and care
- anyone providing care to homeless people
Occupations at risk of vaccine preventable diseases
Some occupations are at an increased risk of catching or passing on the flu to others. Please refer to the Occupations at risk of vaccine preventable diseases page to see if you are considered at risk.
Accessing flu vaccine
To receive the annual flu vaccine contact your doctor, local council, community health centre or Aboriginal health centre to arrange an appointment. Flu vaccines for those greater than 16 years of age who are not eligible for free vaccines can also be accessed through approved pharmacies.
For further information on immunisation providers and where to get the vaccine, see the Immunisation services page.
For further information on the annual funded influenza programs contact your local doctor or immunisation provider.