Influenza vaccination is particularly important this year. Over the COVID-19 period reduced circulation of influenza virus and lower levels of influenza vaccine coverage compared with previous years may have resulted in low levels of community immunity. With international borders reopening a resurgence of influenza is expected in 2022, with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus this year.
- Influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over and provided free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for those people most at risk.
- NIP funded cohorts include adults 65 years and over, children under five, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people with certain medical conditions. The program offers a specific, enhanced influenza vaccine to protect people 65 years and over.
- Vaccines start to be available from the first week of April. The timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during the peak of the influenza season, usually from June to September in most parts of Australia.
- Influenza vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with COVID-19 vaccines.
Read more here from Dr Brendan Murphy, the Secretary of the Department of Health.
Vaccination providers and health professionals can also get the latest National Immunisation Program updates by subscribing to the Australian Department of Health email list.
Resources to support administration practice are available from the Department of Health website here.