Flu Immunisation – Your Questions Answered
What is influenza?
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a respiratory viral infection that can cause serious complications, particularly in young children, older adults and people with certain medical conditions. Symptoms of influenza usually occur 1 to 3 days after infection and may include sudden onset of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, severe tiredness and loss of appetite.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Some people are at greater risk of influenza complications. It is especially serious for babies, people over 65 years of age and pregnant women. Getting vaccinated against the flu helps protect both you and the people around you. The Australian Government recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months has the flu shot every year.
Who should not get the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is not recommended for any child under the age of 6 months and for anyone who had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine. It is also not recommended to receive the flu vaccination if you are feeling unwell (with a temperature over 380C) at the time of your appointment. For further advice and specific recommendations, it is advised that you consult with your pharmacist or doctor.
Should I get the flu vaccine if I am pregnant?
The flu vaccine is Category A in pregnancy, which means the vaccine is considered safe to use in pregnant women. The Australian Government and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend that all pregnant women be vaccinated against influenza unless specifically advised not to by their doctor. The World Health Organisation recommends that pregnant women should receive the highest priority for influenza vaccination.
When should I get my flu shot this year?
Your immunity is strongest and most effective 3 to 4 months after you are vaccinated. Flu season in Australia usually runs from June to September, peaking in August, so it is important to get your flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available, ideally March-May. Direct Chemist Outlet stores are expected to receive their flu vaccines early to mid March.
Can I get a flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine?
Current recommendations are that you will need to wait a minimum of 14 days between your flu and COVID-19 vaccines. Having your flu vaccine when it is released will prevent any delay in receiving your COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available.