When to get the flu vaccine
- A flu vaccine every year gives you protection against becoming severely unwell with flu.
- This helps protect you and your family from flu.
- It is best to have a flu vaccine from mid-April to give the best protection before the peak of the flu season.
Where to get your flu vaccine
- Flu vaccines are available through GPs and pharmacies and some local council immunisation clinics. Phone to confirm Influenza vaccine availability before attending.
Who can receive a free flu vaccine?
The National Immunisation Program (NIP) funds influenza vaccines for people most at risk.
Flu vaccination is available from GPs and most local pharmacies. People at greater risk of severe illness from influenza can get a free vaccine at any time. Speak to your GP, healthcare provider or local pharmacy to book an appointment.
People at greater risk and eligible for free flu vaccine through GPs and most pharmacies are:
- All children aged between six months and five years
- All adults aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women (at any stage in your pregnancy)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from six months of age
- All people over 6 months of age with chronic medical conditions.
What are chronic medical conditions?
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Severe asthma
- A weak immune system (from illness or medical treatment)
- Neuromuscular conditions (affecting your muscles and nerves).
Side effects from the flu vaccine
- Side effects are if you feel sick following your vaccine.
- Common side effects are usually mild, don’t last long and go away without any treatment, like pain and swelling at the injection site.
- Fever is less common.
- There is no live virus in the vaccines used in Australia.
- It is not possible for the flu vaccine to give you the flu.
- If you have any concerns or questions about the flu vaccine, please discuss with your GP.
Information about allergies
- Most types of flu vaccines contain a very small amount of egg protein.
- If you have a mild egg allergy, you can still have the flu vaccine.
- If you have a severe egg allergy or a history of severe allergic reaction following flu vaccination, talk to your doctor about the vaccine.
- The vaccine may be given to you by a doctor experienced in managing severe allergic conditions.
Information about flu vaccines and coronavirus (COVID-19)
- You can now have your COVID-19 and flu vaccines on the same day or close together.
- Speak to your GP about when it is best for you to receive your flu and coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.
Where to get more information
- Public Health Hotline – phone 1800 671 738
- Immunise Australia – phone 1800 671 811
- Australian Government flu website
- Australian Government flu (influenza) immunisation service