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2016 Seasonal  Influenza vaccination

The 2016 seasonal quadrivalent influenza vaccine offers protection against the 4 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  6 months to under 5 years of age
  • All Indigenous people 15 years of age and over
  • Anyone aged 6 months of age and over 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® brand should not be used.

Pregnant women

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 65 years of age and over

All people 65 years of age and over 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.

Heart Conditions

  • rheumatic heart disease
  • cyanotic congenital heart disease
  • coronary artery disease
  • congestive cardiac failure

Chronic lung/breathing problems including:

  • severe asthma
  • bronchiectasis
  • cystic fibrosis
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • emphysema

Chronic illness requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the preceding year including:

  • diabetes
  • chronic metabolic diseases
  • chronic kidney disease
  • haemoglobinopathies

Chronic neurological problems including:

  • multiple sclerosis
  • spinal cord injuries
  • epilepsy and neuromuscular disorders

People with lowered immunity including:

  • HIV
  • cancer
  • 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 6 months and over, 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?
The quadravalent influenza vaccine contains 4 strains of influenza virus (2 influenza A and 2 influenza B virus strains).  This is the vaccine that is offered as part of the National Immunisation program..

Does the 2016 influenza vaccine include protection against swine flu?
Yes. The vaccine contains the 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) influenza strain plus 3 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 one particular 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 from 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 from 6 months to under 5 years of age, or all children from 6 months of age who have medical risk factors. All other children need to see a GP who can prescribe and administer the vaccine.