Date published: 
10 June 2021
Type: 
News
Intended audience: 
General public
small child and word Flu in stop sign

Flu (Influenza) is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause widespread illness and deaths every year. It is a leading cause of hospitalisation for children aged under 5 years. Vaccination is our best defence against flu viruses and is free for children aged 6 months to under 5 years under the National Immunisation Program.

Increased hand washing and social distancing helped to stop the spread of flu viruses last year. However, flu could recirculate this season as we relax restrictions. Vaccinating yourself and your child against influenza this year is more important than ever as we lead into the colder months.

Watch Mia’s story

Within two days of coming down with flu, Mia was fighting for her life.

Mia's story thumbnail
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Read transcript

In 2017 our daughter, Mia was just like any other girl her age doing everyday things – swimming, gymnastics and riding bikes.

One day in October that year, Mia went from being her happy, healthy self to being critically ill on life support in hospital.

Within 2 days of coming down with the flu, she was fighting for her life. Mia hadn’t had the flu vaccine and was suffering from sepsis – a complication of the flu.

Influenza is a leading cause of hospitalisation for children under 5 and can sometimes be fatal. This doesn’t have to be the case.

The influenza vaccine is safe and effective, and it’s free for children aged 6 months to under 5 years.

Mia survived complications from flu and despite the heartbreak and challenges, is now thriving.

We’ll always wonder if Mia would have been ok had she been vaccinated.

Protect your child and the whole family from flu by vaccinating each year. For more information visit the website or talk to your GP or other healthcare provider.

Parent-friendly flu vaccination resources

Flu vaccination resources for parents are available from Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI). The resources answer common questions about flu vaccination.

You can find these resources and more on the SKAI for Parents website:

Getting vaccinated

2021 flu vaccines through the NIP are available from GPs, community health clinics, Aboriginal Medical Services and other immunisation providers in your state or territory.

To locate a service in your area you can search the National Health Services Directory at https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/australian-health-services.

Find out more about flu vaccination: