Seasonal influenza vaccine is recommended annually for everyone from 6 months of age. It is free for all people who are at high risk of complications from flu.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, advises that the influenza vaccine is available from GPs and other health care providers and is free for:
- children from 6 months to under 5 years of age
- anyone from 65 years of age
- pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from 6 months of age
- people from 6 months of age with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart, lung and kidney disease, chronic neurological conditions, impaired immunity and haematological disorders.
Seniors aged from 65 years, Fluad® Quad is the recommended brand for best protection.
Influenza vaccine can be given before or after any dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a minimum of 7 days apart.
Professor Sutton said that vaccination was an important preventative measure but not the only one.
"In addition to vaccination, people should practise the usual prevention measures, including covering coughs and sneezes, regular hand washing and staying home when unwell."
Ways you can combat the spread of colds and flu this winter
Wash your hands regularly
The simplest way to prevent the spread of flu and other infectious disease is to regularly wash your hands, particularly after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Cover your coughs or sneezes
If you do start coughing or sneezing, do it into your elbow or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, throw the tissue in a plastic-lined rubbish bin and then wash your hands.
If you get sick, stay home
If you catch a cold or flu, avoid spreading it to other people. This might mean:
- staying home from work
- avoiding public places like shopping centres and public transport
- putting off social events until you recover.
For more information on the flu vaccine go to The Better Health Channel