Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications and is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over.
Influenza vaccines are funded under the National Immunisation Program for the following groups due to their increased risk of complications from influenza:
- all children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age
- all adults aged 65 years and older
- pregnant women
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- individuals aged 6 months and older with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications (for a full list go to NCIRS Influenza Vaccines Fact Sheet).
All other individuals not included in the categories above can purchase the vaccine from their doctor or community pharmacy (where available).
Gold Coast Public Health Free Community Immunisation Clinics offer free flu vaccine under the national program.
Routine scheduling and co-administration of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day is not recommended.
The preferred minimum interval between a dose of seasonal influenza vaccine and a dose of Comirnaty (Pfizer) or COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is 14 days.
Influenza (or the flu) is a highly contagious, acute viral infection that spreads easily from person to person. Influenza is most often caused by type A or B influenza viruses that infect the upper airways and lungs.
Flu season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with a peak usually in August. In the tropical areas the pattern can be more variable and may include clusters outside this period. In 2019, there was a wider distribution of influenza onset in Queensland between March and October, with the peak occurring in August.
Flu is not the same as a common cold or COVID-19, but it can be a serious illness. For some people, such as young children, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, the flu can cause serious complications requiring hospitalisation and can sometimes lead to death.
For more information on Influenza (The Flu)