Influenza – or the flu – is a virus that spreads quickly from person to person. Influenza is much more serious than a cold, and the symptoms are much more severe.

Symptoms of influenza include a cough, headache, fever or chills, body aches and pains, fatigue, and generally feeling really crook for about 10 days.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, influenza can be severe enough to require hospital treatment, particularly in the very young, elderly, and in people who already have health problems.

Immunisation is your best defence against the flu.  Anyone can get immunised (vaccinated) again influenza at their local GP or medical centre. But for some people, the immunisation is FREE.

Who is eligible for FREE flu vaccination?

Those most at risk are eligible for FREE influenza immunisation, and include

  • adults and children with long-term health conditions (get more information here at link))
  • pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy - scroll down for more information
  • and people aged 65 years and older.  

If you are eligible, FREE flu vaccinations are available from your GP or medical centre.

Privately funded and FREE flu vaccines are also available from some community pharmacies (for people aged 65 years and older and pregnant women). Please ask your local pharmacist.

The funded for eligible patients is

  • INFLUVAC® A(H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) – like virus (new strain)
  • A(H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (HsN2) – like virus
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008 – like virus

The campaign will run until end of December 2017.

Flu facts for pregnant mums 

Influenza is not a cold. It can be a dangerous illness that can pose a very serious risk to your life and that of your unborn baby. The danger comes from your body as it fights the illness, and the impact that can have on your baby. The hormonal and physical changes in pregnant women lowers the ability to fight viral infections.

It is very important for pregnant women (all stages of pregnancy) to get immunised against the flu. The vaccine gives protection to the mother, the unborn baby and the newborn baby. And it is free (usually from early March to 31 July each year).

The vaccine will not harm the baby at all.

Can the flu vaccine give you the flu? 

No. You cannot get influenza from the vaccine, as it does not contain any live viruses. However, some people will experience mild side effects such as muscle aches or headaches for a short time after immunisation. This is a normal reaction.

Remember, the vaccine will not protect you against common cold viruses, but a cold is not nearly as serious as influenza.

Go to FAQ page(external link)