Early advice on 2021 influenza vaccination
Vaccination against influenza remains important this year. Vaccination experts recommend influenza vaccination for all people aged 6 months and over. The National Immunisation Program (NIP) funds influenza vaccines for people most at risk.
Influenza vaccines will be available in April 2021
Influenza vaccines through the NIP will become available in April 2021. Timing may be different for your local area. You can order vaccines through the usual channels in each state and territory.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released advice for immunisation providers in its Statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021.
Timing influenza vaccination with COVID-19 vaccination
This year both influenza and COVID-19 vaccines will be available in Australia. It is important to plan vaccination timing to give the best protection against both of these potentially serious diseases.
There is advice for vaccination providers in the Statement on the relative timing of administering influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.
ATAGI does not recommend scheduling and administering an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day. An interval of at least 14 days between a dose of influenza vaccine and a dose of COVID-19 vaccine is advised. This 14 day interval is the same for either the Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine or the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
When scheduling influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations:
- People in earlier phases for COVID-19 vaccination should have the COVID-19 vaccine as soon they can, and then plan their influenza vaccination.
- People in later phases for COVID-19 vaccination should have the influenza vaccine as soon as they can, and then have the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them.
People can use the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker to see if they can book a COVID-19 vaccination yet.
When you book patients for an influenza vaccine ask if they have had a COVID-19 vaccine within the last 14 days. Before giving the influenza vaccine, check the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to see if the patient has had a COVID-19 vaccine.
Mandatory reporting of influenza vaccinations to the AIR
It is now mandatory for all vaccination providers to report flu vaccinations to the AIR. This came into effect on 1 March 2021.
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