Seasonal influenza vaccines are now available through community pharmacy and GPs around the country, with a record supply to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine.
Approximately 5 million Australians have already had their 2021 flu vaccine, with over 20 million vaccines being made available through community pharmacy, GP’s and dedicated flu clinics this year.
It is important to get the flu jab from now to ensure you are protected at the peak of the season which is usually between July and September.
If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to call your GP, community pharmacy or other vaccination provider and organise your flu shot.
Whilst there have been record low cases of flu this year in Australia the timing, severity and length of the flu season varies year to year and it is not yet clear how hard influenza will hit Australians this year.
Both flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines protect against different viruses, both of which are potentially serious. Everyone aged over six months should receive a flu jab, and all adults should also receive their COVID-19 vaccine when it is scheduled.
The medical advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that it is best not to have the flu and COVID-19 shots too close together. If you are due for the COVID-19 vaccine, or have just had one, make sure you leave two weeks between the vaccines.
Children under five, the elderly and people considered at risk of becoming seriously ill from flu can receive their flu vaccines free of charge through the National Immunisation Program (NIP). The NIP offers a specific, enhanced flu vaccine to protect older people.
Flu vaccines under the NIP are now available from a range of providers including GPs, community health clinics and eligible community pharmacies in some states.
The Australian Government now requires all vaccination providers to report flu vaccination to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). You can check your vaccination history on your My Health Record or at my.gov.au.
This year, more than 9.4 million doses of flu vaccine will be available through the NIP and state and territory government programs, with a total of more than 20 million doses available nationally.
This is up from the total of 17.6 million doses available in 2020 and 13.2 million doses available in 2019.
For more information about flu vaccination in 2021, visit www.health.gov.au/immunisation