2020 Influenza Immunisation Program

Influenza (flu) vaccination

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 provides the best protection against current flu virus strains.

The best time to vaccinate is autumn, but flu vaccine can be given at any time during the flu season while vaccine is available. It usually takes up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to provide protection.

People with egg allergy

People with egg allergy, including a history of anaphylaxis, can be safety vaccinated with influenza vaccines. You do not have to be vaccinated in a hospital setting. If you have an egg allergy please discuss this with your immunisation provider.

Vaccines available under the National Immunisation Program

All funded vaccines available for use in Australia for the 2020 influenza season are quadrivalent (four strains- two influenza A and two influenza B) and contain the following strains:

  • an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/South Australia/34/2019 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Washington/02/2019-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus and
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.

For information on the vaccines available as part of the National Immunisation Program see the Annual Funded Influenza Program 2020 South Australia Schedule (PDF 53KB).

All funded flu vaccines available in Australia in 2020 are latex free.

Eligible groups under the National Immunisation Program

As part of the 2020 Annual Influenza Program free flu vaccination is available for people who are at greater risk of disease and developing complications if they get the flu.

The free flu vaccine is available for:

  • all pregnant women (any trimester)
  • people six months of age or older with the following underlying chronic medical conditions:
    • cardiac disease,
    • chronic respiratory conditions, including severe asthma
    • chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including hereditary and degenerative central nervous system diseases and seizure disorders
    • immunocompromising conditions , including immunocompromised due to disease or treatment
    • diabetes and other metabolic disorders
    • renal disease
    • haematological disorders, including haemoglobinopathies
    • children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy who are at increased risk of Reye syndrome following influenza infection.
  • all children aged six months to less than five years of age
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all people aged 65 years and over

State Funded Influenza Program for people who are homeless

Adults and children who are homeless and are not eligible for free flu vaccines under the Commonwealth Government’s Annual Influenza Program, are eligible to receive influenza vaccines for free under a new State Funded Influenza Program.

Two doses of vaccine at least one month apart are recommended for children aged less than 9 years, when getting flu vaccine for the first time, to improve their immune response. If a child only received one flu vaccine in their first year, they only require one each subsequent year.

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
  • travellers
  • anyone 5 years of age and over 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 vaccine preventable diseases

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 are considered at risk.

Accessing flu vaccine

To receive the annual flu vaccine contact your doctor, local council, community health centre, Aboriginal health centre or an approved pharmacy. For further information on immunisation providers, see the Immunisation services page.

Further information

For further information on the annual funded influenza programs contact your local doctor or immunisation provider.