After a resurgence of influenza in 2022, seasonal influenza is expected to continue in 2023 so it is important to get vaccinated. This protects both you and those around you. Even healthy people can get very sick from influenza.
Who should get an influenza vaccine
Everyone aged 6 months and over should get vaccinated every year for the best protection. Influenza vaccines are free under the National Immunisation Program for people who are at higher risk of complications from influenza. This includes:
- children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- pregnant women (at any stage during pregnancy)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- people aged 65 years and over
- people aged 6 months and over with certain medical conditions that increase their chance of severe influenza and its complications.
The vaccine used will depend on your age. For example, there is a specific vaccine for people aged 65 and over to boost the immune response. Your vaccination provider can tell you which vaccine they will use for you or your child’s immunisation.
Find out more about getting your NIP influenza vaccine in our consumer factsheet.
A public awareness campaign will start today encouraging vaccination for children under 5, First Nations people and pregnant women where vaccination uptake could be improved.
Visit the website for supporting materials and information about the flu vaccine.
When and where the influenza vaccines are available
Free influenza vaccines under the National Immunisation Program became available in April. You can get them from a range of health services including GPs, community health clinics, and participating pharmacies.
Check with your immunisation provider to find out when they will have the NIP vaccines available. To locate a service in your area you can search the National Health Services Directory. You might want to check if your local provider charges a consultation or administration fee for the free vaccines.
Book your appointment to get vaccinated from mid-April so you are protected during the peak of the season (usually June to September). However, as influenza can spread all year round, it’s never too late to get vaccinated.
If you are not eligible for a free influenza vaccine, you can buy the vaccine from your GP, a pharmacy, or another vaccination provider.
Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination
The influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines can be safely given at the same visit. The best way to protect yourself against getting both infections this winter is to make sure you’ve had your influenza vaccine and are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including any recommended booster doses.
When you book in for your influenza vaccination, talk to your vaccination provider about whether they can administer both vaccines.