The 2015 seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine offers protection against the 3 strains of influenza (flu) most likely to circulate. Vaccination is the best protection against influenza.
People who can receive FREE vaccine are:
Indigenous children and adults
- All Indigenous children aged over 6 months to under 5 years of age
- All Indigenous people 15 years of age and over
- Anyone aged over 6 months of age with a medical condition that may increase their risk of severe influenza (see below)*
*Note: For children aged between 6 months and 10 years Fluvax® should not be used.
All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy are eligible for FREE seasonal influenza vaccine.
There is strong evidence that influenza vaccination during all stages of pregnancy is safe and effective. Vaccination will protect the mother as well as protecting her newborn baby in the first 6 months of life.
Pregnant women have an increased risk of complications because their immune system is naturally low during pregnancy, and their increase in size can make breathing more difficult.
People over 65 years of age
All people over 65 years of age regardless of whether they have chronic medical conditions.
People with chronic medical conditions
If you have a medical condition not listed below, ask your health care provider whether you are able to get the free seasonal influenza vaccine.
- rheumatic heart disease
- cyanotic congenital heart disease
- coronary artery disease
- congestive cardiac failure
Chronic lung/breathing problems including:
- severe asthma
- cystic fibrosis
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic illness requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the preceding year including:
- chronic metabolic diseases
- chronic kidney disease
Chronic neurological problems including:
- multiple sclerosis
- spinal cord injuries
- epilepsy and neuromuscular disorders
People with lowered immunity including:
- extended use of steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs
Frequently Asked Questions
If I am not eligible for a free influenza vaccine should I still talk to my Doctor about it?
Yes. Influenza vaccine is recommended for all people over 6 months of age, it is an inexpensive way of protecting yourself, your family and your community from the spread of influenza.
How long does protection from the vaccine last?
The vaccine takes about 2 weeks to work and will last for about 12 months. For ongoing protection a new vaccine is required each year
Can I catch influenza from having the vaccine?
No. The vaccine does not contain any live influenza virus so the vaccine does not give you flu. Because it takes about 2 weeks after the vaccine for the body to be fully protected, if you have contact with someone with influenza during this time you may still become sick because your body is not fully protected.
Tell me more about the quadravalent influenza vaccine?
In addition this year for the first time there are 2 brands of influenza vaccine on the private market that contain 4 strains of influenza virus (two influenza A and two influenza B virus strains). These are referred to as quadrivalent vaccines and are not funded under the NIP.
The quadrivalent influenza vaccines contain the same 3 strains and an additional B strain compared to the trivalent influenza vaccine. The extent of any additional benefit from this additional strain will depend on which B strains are circulating and how much cross protection there is between B strains. People eligible should receive the free trivalent influenza vaccine as in previous years.
Does the 2015 influenza vaccine include protection against swine flu?
Yes. The vaccine contains the 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) influenza strain plus 2 other strains predicted to be the most commonly occurring this year.
If a person had flu previously, do they still need the influenza vaccine?
Yes. Having had flu offers protection against that flu strain but not the other strains of flu found in the vaccine. That is why the influenza vaccine is recommended to be given every year to protect you against the strains that are causing infections this year.
Should all children get the influenza vaccine?
Influenza vaccine is licenced and recommended for children over 6 months of age and is the safest and most efficient way to protect against disease. Please check with your GP
Can all children get free influenza vaccine?
No. The vaccine is free for all Indigenous children aged over 6 months to under 5 years of age, or all children over 6 months of age who have medical risk factors. All other children need to see a GP who can prescribe and administer the vaccine.