Australia is in the grip of a horror flu season, with the virus killing 25 people in Queensland and 17 in South Australia so far this year.
Health authorities have again urged people to get a flu vaccination, as experts predict 4000 Australians will die from influenza in 2019.
Queensland’s peak flu season usually runs from July to October but the state is on track to surpass the 43 deaths recorded in 2018.
Australia headed for a bad flu season
Experts predict about 4000 people will die from complications due to influenza this year as the number of infections increase again following a quiet 2018. There have already been 40,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in 2019, almost three times the number recorded at the same time in recent years. Experts from the Immunisation Coalition have urged people to get vaccinated now so they are protected during the winter flu peak.
Best way to protect you and your family from the flu is to get vaccinated

Vaccination against flu is the best way to protect you and your children from flu and any associated illness.

To protect yourself from the flu, you should get vaccinated every year. The flu virus is always changing so the flu vaccine changes too.

Seasonal influenza vaccines are now available to eligible people for free under the National Immunisation Program. This includes two new vaccines to provide better protection for people aged 65 years and over.

Who is eligible for the free flu shot under the National Immunisation Program?

The vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program for people who are more likely to be affected by complications from the flu. This includes:

People 65 years and over

Older people aged 65 years and over are more likely to be affected by complications associated with seasonal flu.

Pregnant women

Pregnant women are more likely to be affected by complications associated with the flu. Experts from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommend vaccinating against flu at any stage during pregnancy, and preferably before the flu season starts. The flu vaccine given in pregnancy protects pregnant women and their babies during their first months of life. This is when babies are most likely to be affected by infection and are too young to get vaccinated themselves.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can get the flu shot for free at these ages:

  • six months to less than five years
  • 15 years and over.
People with certain medical conditions

People with some existing medical conditions are more likely to have complications from the flu and are eligible for a free flu vaccine. This includes anyone who is six months of age and over who has:

  • heart disease
  • severe asthma (requiring frequent medical consultations or use of multiple medications)
  • chronic lung conditions
  • diseases of the nervous system which affect your breathing
  • impaired immunity
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • blood disorders
  • children aged six months to 10 years on long-term aspirin therapy.

If you are not sure if these categories apply to you or your child, speak to your local Fullerton Health Medical Centre.

If your child is not eligible for a free flu vaccine under the National Immunisation Program, they might still be able to get a free vaccine in your state or territory. Talk to your local Fullerton Health Medical Centre to find out more about free flu vaccines.

You can also buy a flu vaccine if you are not eligible to get a vaccine for free. Speak to your local Fullerton Health Medical Centre for more information.

Our Clinics