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The easing of public health measures and travel restrictions has created a surge in both COVID-19 and Influenza A (the Flu) cases as we come into winter. Both respiratory illnesses can be very dangerous and it's best to be protected. 

Influenza vaccination is particularly important this year, as there is an epidemic of Influenza A (the Flu) coinciding with the onoging COVID-19 pandemic. 

Experts are still unclear about how seasonal flu could worsen COVID-19 however, it is recommended people avoid having both. Influenza is the most common preventable disease in Australia. However, it can also cause very serious illness in otherwise healthy people leading to hospitalisation and even death. Getting a flu shot can help to protect others in the community including those who cannot be vaccinated due to sickness or being too young. 

It's easy and for most people this year, it is free. 

People with disability, especially those who are older or have chronic illnesses or respiratory problems, are particularly at risk from both the flu (influenza) and COVID-19. 

Are you Eligible for a Free Flu Shot?

In 2022, for the month of June, most Autralians can get a free flut shot

Some people are eligible for a free flu vaccine every year, under the Federal Government’s National Immunisation Program, because they are most at risk. This includes

  • Children aged six months to five years 
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of flu complications. Like people with diabetes, severe asthma, lung, or heart disease

When can you get one?

The free flu vaccines under the National program are usually available from April onwards. In most cases, the flu vaccine is available through your local doctor or GP, free of charge. Pharmacies, community health clinics, Aboriginal Medical Services, school-based immunisation programs and some workplaces will provide the flu vaccine.

Coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, be mindful of the steps put in place to reduce the risk of transmission of this virus when attending one of these locations.

Where can you get one?

Check with your local doctor or pharmacy as a first option. To locate a suitable service provider close to you, you can use the National Health Service Directory.

Are you eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot?

Recently, ATAGI expanded eligibility for the seond COVID-19 booster to include more Australians with chronic medical conditions and disabilities. 

If you are eligible, you should seriously consider getting the COVID-19 booster to protect yourself and your community from further spread of COVID-19. 

Go to ATAGI recommends fourth "winter" dose of COVID-19 vaccine for at-risk groups for more information. 

Can you get the flu shot and COVID-19 booster at the same time?

Last year, it was recommended that you space the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at least 14 days apart. However, the health advice has changed, and COVID-19 vaccines can now be co-administered (that is, given on the same day) with an influenza vaccine. 

The order of your vaccines does not matter. If you qualify for a fourth COVID-19 booster, you can use the Covid-19 Vaccine Finder. You should tell your provider if you have already received the COVID-19 vaccine when booking your flu shot.

For general advice and information about immunisation, you can call the National Immunisation Information Line on 1800 671 811 or read more about Flu (influenza) immunisation here.

More information

Free flu shots for nearly all Australians
ATAGI recommends fourth "winter" dose of COVID-19 vaccine for at-risk groups

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