2022 influenza vaccination
Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications. It is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over.
Vaccination against influenza this year is even more important. Over the COVID-19 period there has been lower exposure to influenza virus and lower levels of influenza vaccine coverage compared to previous years. With borders reopening a possible resurgence of influenza can occur in 2022.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released advice to support vaccination providers ahead of the 2022 influenza season in its Statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022.
Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination
ATAGI has advised that influenza vaccines can be co-administered (on the same day) with a COVID-19 vaccine.
Subject to the availability of influenza vaccines, co-administration with COVID-19 booster vaccines could be a prompt for influenza vaccination.
Free flu vaccines under the National Immunisation Program are available from April 2022, subject to local supply arrangements.
For adults aged 65 years and over, adjuvanted influenza vaccines are recommended over standard influenza vaccine. The adjuvanted vaccine Fluad® Quad is funded under the NIP for this age cohort.
Timing of vaccination
The highest level of protection occurs in the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination. Annual vaccination should ideally occur before the onset of each influenza season. This is usually from June to September in most parts of Australia but may be atypical this year. Vaccinating from April provides protection before the peak season.
Eligibility for 2022 influenza vaccines through the NIP
Eligibility for influenza vaccines under the NIP remains unchanged for 2022 and includes:
- children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age
- adults aged 65 years and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
- people aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of complications.
Further information and resources about 2022 NIP seasonal influenza vaccines will be made available shortly.
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