Annual Influenza Program
Influenza (flu) vaccination is recommended every year for any person 6 months of age and over who would like to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with the flu.
As the strains of flu virus can change from year to year, receiving a flu vaccine every year ensures you are protected against the current flu virus strain.
People recommended to have the flu vaccine
Eligible for free vaccines
As part of the Annual Influenza Program, free flu vaccination is available for people who are at greater risk of developing complications if they get the flu.
The flu vaccine is free to:
- everyone aged 65 years and over
- all pregnant women (including those in the first trimester)
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months up to 5 years of age
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 15 years of age and over
- people six months of age or older with the following underlying chronic medical conditions:
- cardiac disease
- chronic respiratory conditions including severe asthma
- other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, for example diabetes, chronic renal (kidney) failure, chronic metabolic disease and haemoglobinopathies
- chronic neurological conditions that may impact on respiratory function including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders and other neuromuscular disorders
- people with impaired immunity, including HIV infection, malignancy and chronic steroid use
- children on long term aspirin therapy
Not free but highly recommended
In addition to those eligible for the free flu vaccine, the following groups are strongly recommended to have the vaccine:
- health care workers
- anyone who works in a nursing home or long term care facility
- anyone who lives in a household with a person who is in a high risk category
- people providing essential services, for example police or ambulance officers
- anyone over six months of age who wishes to reduce the likelihood of getting the flu
- staff working in early childhood education and care
- anyone providing care to homeless people.
Occupations at risk of preventable
Some occupations are at an increased risk of catching or passing on the flu to others, please refer to the Occupations at risk of vaccine preventable diseases page to see if you considered at risk.
Accessing the vaccine
To receive the annual flu vaccine contact your doctor, local council, community health centre or Aboriginal health centre to arrange an appointment.
For further information on immunisation providers, see the Immunisation services page.
For further information on the Annual Influenza Program contact your local doctor or immunisation provider.