Getting your annual flu vaccination is one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from the flu. Flu strains can change from year to year and the vaccines may be updated from one season to the next, so it’s important to get vaccinated every year.
The flu is highly contagious, and while it can be mild in some people, in others it can also cause severe illness, hospitalisation and death.
Flu vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for people at higher risk of complications from the flu, including everyone aged 65 years and over.
People aged 65 years are recommended to have the flu vaccine specifically made to boost the immune response for better protection in preference to the standard flu vaccine. Ask your GP about the Fluad®Quad vaccine.
When should I get the flu vaccine?
You should get vaccinated from mid-April onwards to protect yourself against influenza before the flu season starts. However, it’s never too late to vaccinate as influenza can spread all year round.
How can I avoid giving the flu to other people?
In addition to vaccination, you should practise the usual prevention measures:
- Wash your hands regularly, or use alcohol-based hand cleaners, particularly after coughing or sneezing.
- If you do start coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or a tissue, throw the tissue in a plastic-lined rubbish bin and then wash your hands.
- If you get sick, stay home, avoid public places like shopping centres, hospitals and public transport.
For more information on the influenza vaccine visit the Better Health
COVID-19 vaccination and the flu vaccine - what you need to know
- COVID-19 vaccination is available to everyone aged 5 and above, and the 2023 booster is available to everyone aged 18 and above.
- You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccination at the same time.
- You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccination from your pharmacist or doctor (GP). Pharmacists can administer the flu and COVID-19 vaccines to anyone aged 5 years and over.
- Most people can safely recover from the flu and COVID-19 at home.
See your doctor to talk about the best care for you if you get COVID-19 or the flu this winter. This will help you get the right care, if and when you need it. Some people are eligible for prescription medicines that can reduce health complications and the need for hospitalisation with COVID-19 or the flu if taken soon after symptoms appear. Find out more from your doctor
Your doctor is the best person to help you if you are unwell.
- Keeping your COVID-19 vaccinations up to date is important to stay well this winter.
- Everyone in Australia aged 5 years and over is eligible for free COVID-19 vaccinations and the 2023 booster dose is available to everyone aged 18 and over.
Get your next dose at your local pharmacy or GP. Find one near you using the Vaccine .
Reviewed 18 May 2023