Flu Vaccinations 2021
This year the flu shot will be available in mid April from GP surgeries and other immunisation providers. We of course recommend having it done at a doctor's clinic rather than a chemist so all your records are in one place. Additionally this year there are many types of flu shots for different age groups and reasons so it is best to consult a doctor for which injection is suitable for you.
It is recommended to have a 2 week gap between the Influenza vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccination.
Our Flu Vaccination Clinics
We will be running bulk billed clinics all throughout April, May and June. This year you will be able to book through our online booking system by clicking the following link. The cost of a private influenza vaccine this year will be $25.
These clinics will be run as fast turnover clinics and are only for influenza vaccinations. Our doctors will be unable to look at any other medical problem including printing prescriptions within these clinics.
You will need to print out the following form and fill in the details and then bring it to the clinic with you. If you forget or are unable to print out this form then please come a little earlier to fill the form out before your vaccination.
Please wear a mask and also a loose top that enables us to get to your upper arm.
Kids and Flu Clinics
It is best not to inform nervous children that they are getting an injection as they can often get overly anxious with anticipation. It is best to tell them they are going to the doctor for some medicines and you can then inform the doctor so we know to take special care with the child.
It is also recommended that for kids under age 9 to have 2 shots 1 month apart if they are having the flu injection for the first time.
Eligibility for influenza vaccines funded by the National Immunisation Program (NIP)
Who is eligible for the free flu shot?
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone from 6 months of age but is available free under the National Immunisation Program for people at high risk of complications. They are:
All children aged 6 months to under 5 years
People 65 Years and Over
People aged 65 years and over have the highest risk of complications associated with seasonal flu.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Persons
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons 6 months and over
The flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women and can be safely given during any stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women are at higher risk of severe complications associated with the flu. Vaccinating against flu during pregnancy also provides protection for babies during their first vulnerable months of life.
People Medically at Risk
People with some existing medical conditions are more likely to experience complications from flu. These include anyone who is 6 months of age and over who has:
- Heart disease.
- Severe asthma (requiring frequent medical consultations or the use of multiple medicines)
- Chronic lung condition.
- Chronic illness requiring medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the past year.
- Diseases of the nervous system.
- Impaired immunity.
- Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long-term aspirin therapy are also at risk of complications from flu.
General Influenza Information
What is the flu?
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, spreads easily from person to person through infected droplets in the air and by hands. Vaccination is the single most effective way of preventing and stopping its spread.
The flu virus infects your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. It is different from a cold as symptoms such as fever, sore throat and muscle aches develop suddenly and last about a week. In some cases, severe illness and complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis can develop, resulting in hospitalisation and/or death. The flu can also make some existing medical conditions worse. Every year there are several thousand deaths in Australia due to influenza.
Why should I get the flu shot?
Because the flu virus is constantly changing, you need to get vaccinated every year.
Every year, the flu vaccine changes too, so it protects against the strains of flu virus which are most likely to be around during that winter. You should be vaccinated in autumn to allow time for the vaccine to work before the flu season starts. Even if you received a flu shot towards the end of the last flu season, you should still be vaccinated again before this flu season.
The flu vaccine does not contain any live virus therefore you cannot get flu from receiving the vaccine.
Flu Vaccine Safety and Allergies
Vaccines, like other medicines, can have side effects, however the majority of side effects are minor.
Common side effects following flu vaccination include soreness, redness, pain and swelling at the injection site, drowsiness, tiredness, muscle aches and low grade temperature (fever). These side effects are usually mild and go away within a few days, usually without any treatment. You should contact your doctor if you are concerned or your child has a persistent high temperature.
Anyone with a severe reaction to eggs should talk to their immunisation provider before receiving the influenza vaccination.
There may be a small increase in the risk of fever when a child receives both the flu vaccine and the pneumococcal disease vaccine (13vPCV) at the same time. These two vaccines can be given separately, with a least a three day interval between them, to reduce the likelihood of fever. If you are concerned, you should discuss this option with your doctor or immunisation provider.
Australia has rigorous systems in place to monitor adverse events following vaccination to ensure the ongoing safety of the National Immunisation Program. In 2010, one vaccine bioCSL Fluvax® was shown to be associated with an increase in severe fever in some children less than 5 years of age. This vaccine has not been registered for use in children under five since 2012.
Important Facts About the Flu Shot
- Approximately 2,800 Australians die every year, either directly from the seasonal flu, complications due to the flu, or pneumonia.
- Flu vaccinations are the single most effective way of helping fight the spread of flu in the community.
- If you are a person at high risk, talk with your doctor or immunisation provider about getting the free flu vaccine.