Influenza is highly contagious and develops quickly. It can leave you feeling ill for weeks, meaning a lengthy period of time off work or school and staying away from family and friends. Your best defence against the flu is getting the influenza vaccine.
With the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), health services and emergency departments are likely to be under pressure. While the flu shot does not provide immunity against coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of Health and Human Services is advising all Victorians to get the flu shot to reduce their risk.
Children, the elderly, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with a weakened immune system are at higher risk of complications associated with the flu.
Everyone over 6 months of age should get an annual flu shot to ensure they are protected during the peak flu season, which usually runs from June to September. None of the vaccines available in Australia contain live influenza viruses, so they cannot cause the flu.
Free flu shots
In 2020 the Victorian Government will fund free flu shots for:
- all children aged between 6 months to less than 5 years
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged above 6 months
- pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
- all people aged above 6 months who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications; for example, severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes
- all adults aged above 65 years.
Anyone else wishing to receive their annual flu shot can attend one of our many immunisation sessions for a cost of $25, with no appointment necessary.