• Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless medically contraindicated) to reduce their chance of becoming ill with influenza.
  • All children aged 6 months to less than 5 years are  eligible for free influenza vaccines under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
  • Influenza vaccines and the COVID 19 Vaccine may be given at the same time.
  • The quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) Fluad® Quad  (Seqirus) contains an adjuvant and is recommended for people ≥65 years of age.
  • Flucelvax Quad, a cell-based influenza vaccine is funded under the NIP in 2024 for at-risk population aged 5 to 64 years. There is no preference for use between Flucelvax Quad and standard dose egg-based influenza vaccines.
  • If a person had a 2023 formulation of influenza vaccine in late 2023 or early 2024, they are still recommended to receive a 2024 formulation of influenza vaccine when it becomes availble.

Eligibility for free influenza vaccines

People most at risk of severe influenza and its complications are eligible for free influenza vaccines under the National Immunisation Program. Eligible groups include:

  • Pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
  • People aged 65 years and over (a vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • Children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
  • Individuals aged over 5 years  with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and complications. Medical conditions include:
    • Cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease;
    • Chronic respiratory conditions, including severe asthma (defined as requiring frequent medical consultations or the use of multiple medications), cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic emphysema;
    • Chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including hereditary and degenerative central nervous system diseases (including multiple sclerosis), seizure disorders, spinal cord injuries, and neuromuscular disorders;
    • Immunocompromising conditions, due to diseases or treatment (e.g. malignancy, transplantation, chronic steroid use), asplenia or splenic dysfunction, and HIV infection;
    • Diabetes and other metabolic disorders;
    • Renal disease, especially for chronic kidney disease;
    • Haematological disorders, including haemoglobinopathies; and
    • Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy who are at increased risk of Reye syndrome following influenza infection.

Those not eligible for a government funded flu vaccine can receive a private flu vaccine at Your Family Doctors for $20

Vaccination timing

Optimal protection against influenza occurs within the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination. Timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during peak influenza season (usually from June to September in most parts of Australia).

2024 influenza vaccine strains

The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) recommendation for the composition of influenza vaccines for Australia in 2023 introduces one new strain to the NIP vaccines when compared to the composition of the vaccines for Australia in 2023: a new A (H1N1)-like virus strain.

Egg-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines:

  • A/Victoria/4897/2022 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Thailand/8/2022 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus and
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

Cell- or recombinant- based quadrivalent influenza vaccines:

  • A/Wisconsin/67/2022 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Massachusetts/18/2022 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus and
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

Both egg-based and cell-based vaccines will be available in Australia in 2024 under the NIP.

Influenza vaccines

Four influenza vaccines will be available under the National Immunisation Program in 2024:


Influenza vaccine contraindications

The only contraindications to influenza vaccines are:

  • Anaphylaxis following a previous dose of any influenza vaccine
  • Anaphylaxis following any vaccine component (excluding eggs)

Note on egg allergies

Egg allergy is not a contraindication to influenza vaccines. If there is significant parental or health professional concern, the vaccine may be administered in a primary care setting with a longer waiting period of 30 minutes.

Note on latex allergies

All influenza vaccines available under the NIP in 2023 are latex free. People with a latex allergy can safely be vaccinated with influenza vaccines that are available under the NIP.

Possible side effects of the flu vaccine

The influenza vaccine can cause a range of side effects. Common side effects of flu vaccine include: 

  • drowsiness or tiredness
  • muscle aches
  • localized pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • occasionally, an injection-site lump (nodule) that may last many weeks but needs no treatment, will resolve
  • low grade temperature

Managing fever after Immunisation

Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary (occurring in the first two days after vaccination). Specific treatment is not usually required. There are a number of treatment options that can reduce the side effects of the vaccine including: 

  • drinking extra fluids and not overdressing if there is a fever
  • although routine use of paracetamol after vaccination is not recommended, if fever is present, paracetamol can be given – check the label for the correct dose or speak with your pharmacist, (especially when giving paracetamol to children)

Booking a flu vaccine Appointment

The 2024 Influenza’s vaccines are expected to arrive early April.  When they arrive flu vaccine appointments will be available for patients of our practice online via HotDoc under ‘Flu clinic’ by following the link Book Here

Further information


Warm regards

The Team @  Your Family Doctors

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