Influenza vaccination

It's time to get your seasonal influenza vaccine!

The 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine offers protection against the 3 strains of influenza (flu) most likely to circulate in 2014 and includes Swine Flu.

Vaccination is the best protection against influenza.

Indigenous people over 15 yearsPregnant WomenOver 65 years of ageHigh risk over six monthsEveryone

People who can receive FREE vaccine are:

  • Anyone 65 years of age and over
  • All Indigenous people 15 years of age and over
  • All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
  • Anyone over 6 months of age with medical conditions that increase their risk of severe influenza*.
  • People with medical conditions that increase their risk of severe influenza. Medical conditions include:
    • Cardiac disease
    • Chronic respiratory conditions
    • Chronic illnesses
    • Chronic neurological condition
    • People with impaired immunity and
  • Children aged 6 months to 10 years having long term aspirin therapy.

*Note: For children aged between 6 months and 10 years Fluvax® should not be used.

If you have a medical condition not listed above, ask your health care provider whether you are able to get the free seasonal influenza vaccine.

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Indigenous people

Q:  Who is eligible for FREE 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine among Indigenous people?
A: 
- All Indigenous people 15 years of age and over.
- All Indigenous people over 6 months of age who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe or life threatening influenza.

Q: What are the medical conditions that increase the risk of severe or life threatening influenza?
A:
- Heart problems including:

  • 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.

If you have a medical condition not listed above, ask your health care provider whether you are able to get the free seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  How long does protection from the vaccine last?
A:  The vaccine takes 2 weeks to work and will last for about 12 months. Low levels of protection may persist for another year after. For ongoing protection a new vaccine is required each year.

Q:  Can I catch influenza from having the vaccine?
A:  No. The vaccine does not contain any live influenza virus. Some people have a sore arm or a mild temperature after they have received the vaccine and this is a normal reaction. However, it does take around 2 weeks before the body is fully  protected after vaccination. If you are exposed to someone with influenza infection during this time you may still become sick because your body is not yet fully protected.

Q:  Does the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine include protection against swine flu?
A:  Yes. The vaccine contains the 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) Influenza (swine flu) strain plus 2 other strains predicted to be the most commonly occurring this year. People who want to protect themselves against the 3 strains should get the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  If a person had flu (influenza) previously, do they still need the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:  Yes. Having had flu offers protection against that flu strain but not the other strains of flu. The 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended to protect against strains of flu that are causing infections this year.

Additional information and resources

 

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Pregnant women

All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy are eligible for FREE 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine 

Q:  Are influenza vaccines safe to be administered in pregnancy?
A:  Yes. There is strong evidence that influenza vaccination in pregnancy is safe and effective and vaccination will protect the mother from an increased risk of complications as well as protecting her newborn baby in the first 6 months of life. 

Q:  Is influenza vaccine recommended in pregnancy?
A:
The influenza vaccine is recommended throughout any stage of pregnancy. 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. This is particularly relevant to women in their second and third trimester.

Q:  How long does protection from the vaccine last?
A:  The vaccine takes 2 weeks to work and will last for about 12 months. Low levels of protection may persist for another year after. For ongoing protection a new vaccine is required each year.

Q:  Can I catch influenza from having the vaccine?
A:  No.
The vaccine does not contain any live influenza virus. Some people have a sore arm or a mild temperature after they have received the vaccine and this is a normal reaction. However, it does take around 2 weeks before the body is fully  protected after vaccination. If you are exposed to someone with influenza infection during this time you may still become sick because your body is not yet fully protected.

Q:  Does the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine include protection against swine flu?
A:  Yes.
The vaccine contains the 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) Influenza (swine flu) strain plus 2 other strains predicted to be the most commonly occurring this year. People who want to protect themselves against the 3 strains should get the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  If a person had flu (influenza) previously, do they still need the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:  Yes.
Having had flu offers protection against that flu strain but not the other strains of flu. The 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended to protect against strains of influenza that are causing infections this year.

Additional information and resources

 

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65 years of age and over

Q:  Who is eligible for FREE 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:   All people 65 years of age and over regardless of whether they have chronic conditions

Q: What are the medical conditions that increase the risk of severe or life threatening influenza?
A:
- Heart problems including:

  • 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.

If you have a medical condition not listed above, ask your health care provider whether you are able to get the free seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  How long does protection from the vaccine last?
A:  The vaccine takes 2 weeks to work and will last for about 12 months. Low levels of protection may persist for another year after.
For ongoing protection a new vaccine is required each year.

Q:  Can I catch influenza from having the vaccine?
A:  No.
The vaccine does not contain any live influenza virus. Some people have a sore arm or a mild temperature after they have received the vaccine and this is a normal reaction. However, it does take around 2 weeks before the body is fully  protected after vaccination. If you are exposed to someone with influenza infection during this time you may still become sick because your body is not yet fully protected.

Q:  Does the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine include protection against swine flu?
A:  Yes.
The vaccine contains the 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) Influenza (swine flu) strain plus 2 other strains predicted to be the most commonly occurring this year. People who want to protect themselves against the 3 strains should get the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  If a person had flu (influenza) previously, do they still need the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:  Yes.
Having had flu offers protection against that flu strain but not the other strains of flu. The 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended to protect against strains of influenza that are causing infections this year.

Additional information and resources

 

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People at high risk

Q:  Who is eligible for FREE 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:
- All people 65 years of age and over
- All Indigenous people 15 years and older
- All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- All people over 6 months of age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of severe or life threatening influenza*.

*Note: For children aged between 6 months and 10 years Fluvax® should not be used.

Q:  What are the medical conditions that increase the risk of severe or life threatening influenza?

A:
- Heart problems including:

  • 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

- Children over 6 months to 10 years who receive long term aspirin therapy*

*Immunise Australia provides further information about vaccination of children 6 months to 10 years.
 

If you have a medical condition not listed above, ask your health care provider whether you are able to get the free seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  Should all children get the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A: Influenza vaccine is licenced for use in children over 6 months of age and is the safest and most efficient way to protect against disease. To protect children against the flu they should be vaccinated.  Children under 10 years, should only receive certain brands of influenza vaccine.  Please check with your GP.

Q:  Can all children get FREE 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:  No. The vaccine is FREE for children over 6 months of age who have medical risk factors. All other children will need to see a GP who can prescribe and administer the vaccine.

Q:  How many doses of 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine do children need?
A:  It depends on their age and if they have previously been vaccinated against the flu. Your doctor or health worker will be able to advise if you need to return for further vaccinations. See our influenza vaccination schedule for children.

Q:  Can I catch influenza from having the vaccine?
A:  No.
The vaccine does not contain any live influenza virus. Some people have a sore arm or a mild temperature after they have received the vaccine and this is a normal reaction. However, it does take around 2 weeks before the body is fully  protected after vaccination. If you are exposed to someone with influenza infection during this time you may still become sick because your body is not yet fully protected.

Q:  Does the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine include protection against swine flu?
A:  Yes.
The vaccine contains the 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) Influenza (swine flu) strain plus 2 other strains predicted to be the most commonly occurring this year. People who want to protect themselves against the 3 strains should get the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  If a person had flu (influenza) previously, do they still need the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:  Yes.
Having had flu offers protection against that flu strain but not the other strains of flu. The 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended to protect against strains of influenza that are causing infections this year.

Additional information and resources

 

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Everyone

Q:  Why do some people have to pay for the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine when the swine flu vaccine  (Panvax®) was provided free to everyoneover 6 months of age?
A: The H1N1 influenza pandemic was caused by a "new" virus that no-one - or a very limited aged population - had previous immunity to, either by recovery from the disease or protection by vaccination. The entire population was vulnerable to the disease and therefore were offered free vaccines.

There are some groups of people who are more at risk of complications of influenza than the general population. Influenza vaccine has always been recommended for these people however it was not always provided free to them. In 2010 the groups of people eligible to receive free seasonal influenza vaccine was expanded.

Q:  Who is eligible for the FREE 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:  
- All Indigenous people 15 years of age and older
- All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- All people 65 years of age and over
- All people over 6 months of age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of severe or life threatening influenza*.

*Note: For children aged between 6 months and 10 years Fluvax® should not be used.

Q:  If people are not eligible for FREE 2014 seasonal influenza vaccinebut wish to be vaccinated how do they access the vaccine?
A:  People who wish to receive the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine can purchase the vaccine following the issue of a prescription by a GP. The vaccine costs about $20 - $25. Some workplaces may offer the vaccine to their staff as an occupational health and safety initiative.

Q:  How long does protection from the vaccine last?
A:  The vaccine takes 2 weeks to work and will last for about 12 months. Low levels of protection may persist for another year after. For ongoing protection a new vaccine is required each year.

Q:  Can I catch influenza from having the vaccine?
A:  No.
The vaccine does not contain any live influenza virus. Some people have a sore arm or a mild temperature after they have received the vaccine and this is a normal reaction. However, it does take around 2 weeks before the body is fully  protected after vaccination. If you are exposed to someone with influenza infection during this time you may still become sick because your body is not yet fully protected.

Q:  Does the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine include protection against swine flu?
A:  Yes.
The vaccine contains the 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) Influenza (swine flu) strain plus 2 other strains predicted to be the most commonly occurring this year. People who want to protect themselves against the 3 strains should get the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine.

Q:  If a person had flu (influenza) previously, do they still need the 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine?
A:  Yes.
Having had flu offers protection against that flu strain but not the other strains of flu. The 2014 seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended to protect against strains of influenza that are causing infections this year.

Additional information and resources