Influenza is a very contagious infection of the airways. It affects people of all ages. Although it can be a mild disease, it can also cause very serious illness in otherwise healthy people. It can require hospitalisation and can cause death.
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from serious disease caused by influenza.
By getting vaccinated against influenza, you can also help protect other people, especially people who are too sick or too young to be vaccinated. The more people who are vaccinated in your community, the less likely the disease will spread.
Who should get immunised against influenza?
Yearly influenza vaccination is recommended for people aged 6 months and over. Anyone who wants to protect themselves against influenza can talk to their immunisation provider about getting immunised.
The following people are more at risk of complications from influenza
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- People aged 6 months or over who have medical conditions
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- People aged 65 years or over.
When should you get the influenza vaccine?
Annual immunisation is recommended as the influenza virus is constantly changing, and the vaccine changes accordingly.
Getting vaccinated in autumn is recommended. This provides protection in time for the peak influenza season (usually in winter in most parts of Australia). However, it is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round.
It is currently not recommend to have an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day. An interval of at least 14 days between a dose of influenza vaccine and a dose of COVID-19 vaccine is advised.