Influenza Vaccinations

When

The 2021 influenza vaccines have arrived!

Who

Annual influenza vaccination is voluntary but recommended for:

  • all Australians aged 6 months or older

Influenza vaccinations are strongly recommended, and government funded for:

  • everyone over 65 years of age
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 6 months of age
  • pregnant women - they help to protect mum during pregnancy (influenza can be particularly aggressive during pregnancy) and baby for the first few months after birth
  • people with heart disease
  • people with severe asthma (requiring frequent medical consultations or use of multiple medications)
  • people with chronic lung conditions
  • people with diseases of the nervous system which affect your breathing
  • people with impaired immunity
  • people with diabetes
  • people with kidney disease
  • people with haemoglobinopathies
  • children aged 6 months to 10 years on long-term aspirin therapy

How do I book?

You can book a general appointment with your GP online via HotDoc, by phone or in person, or ask your GP during your next appointment (subject to availability).

To streamline processes, we ask that all new patients book their appointments online here

Cost

The National Immunisation Program pays for influenza vaccinations for those in the strongly recommended list above.

For patients who are not in one of these groups, and therefore not eligible for the National Immunisation Program there will be a cost of $17.60 for the injection and as we are a private billing clinic, there may be an out-of-pocket cost for the consultation.

The Covid-19 vaccination and the influenza vaccination

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommend against giving the COVID-19 vaccine within 7 days of an influenza vaccine. While there are no obvious safety concerns, it may be difficult to attribute side effects and it is unknown if the immune response will be blunted by giving these vaccines close together.

Please do not book if you have had (or are likely to have) a Covid-19 vaccination in the past 7 days.

When should I have it?

It is recommended to have the influenza vaccine before the start of flu season, which in Australia usually begins in June but peaks in August/September. We recommend having vaccinations in April to May, however they may be given later in the season, with protection kicking in a couple of weeks after the vaccine is given. The vaccine can be given any time there are influenza infections circulating in our community.

Why have it?

Influenza is a serious infection, with a long list of potential side effects which go up to and include death. Influenza vaccination, along with general hygiene measures (cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands, keep your distance, avoid contact with sick people and large crowds, stay home when you're sick) reduces significantly the risk to individuals and hence to our community.

Due to the closure of our borders, the number of influenza cases across Australia has fallen markedly, beginning with our lockdowns in March 2020. While we remain locked down, it is likely that influenza numbers will stay low. We do not, however, want to risk influenza escaping into a non-vaccinated community and wreaking the very kind of havoc we're trying to prevent by keeping Covid-19 out.

We believe it is in the best interest of our nation if we immunise widely, as this provides the highest protection, especially when we reopen to international travel. We are also very keen to prevent a combination of influenza and Covid-19 infections in an individual, with the expectation that this would lead to more severe outcomes.

Is it safe and effective?

Yes.

How long does it last?  Should I have it every year?

Protection after vaccination is generally expected to last throughout the year. Optimal protection occurs in the first 3 to 4 months after vaccination

The influenza virus mutates readily and having a new vaccine every year is required in order to maintain peak protection from these infections.

Is there anyone who should not be vaccinated?

Children under the age of 6 months and people with a history of anaphylaxis after a previous dose of any type of influenza vaccine should not be immunised.

What do I do on appointment day?

Please only come to your appointment if you are well.  If you are ill on the day, please call reception ASAP to reschedule your appointment.  

Wear clothing which allows easy access to your upper arm.

Due to Covid-19 social distancing regulations we have limited space in our waiting rooms. 

  • For this reason, if possible, please come alone to your appointment (unless there is more than one family member who is being vaccinated at the same time)
  • People who are not being vaccinated may need to wait outside
  • Please do not arrive early for your appointment

After the vaccine

Like all vaccines, the influenza vaccine can result in side effects, the most common being low grade fevers, headache, muscle aches and pains, tiredness and irritability. Please reply to the SMS message you will receive from SmartVax 3 days after your immunisation, asking about any side effects.

You can also report all side effects directly to the TGA via this form or to Qld Health 13 HEALTH (13 4325 84).

There is a small increase in the incidence of Guillain-Barre after some influenza vaccines, however if you catch influenza, the risk is much higher, resulting in less cases of Guillain-Barre among those who immunise!

The risk of allergy is very small, but most obvious in the first 15 minutes after immunisation, so we do ask that you stay close by for that time.

More information

Information on Covid and Influenza vaccines

FAQs from Heathdirect

ATAGI advice 2021

Department of Health advice 2021

Vaccination facts and fiction

Influenza vaccination in pregnancy

Opening Hours

Monday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Thursday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Friday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday 8.00am - 11.30am
Sunday 9.00am - 1.00pm (Morningside Clinic)

Phones open ***Our phones are continuing to have extended waiting times. Please book your Covid-19 vaccines online where possible*** 7.15am Weekdays, 7.30am Saturdays, and 8.30am on Sundays - IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, PLEASE PHONE US DIRECTLY. DO NOT PRE

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