Flu Vaccine for People Aged 65 Years and Over

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Flu Vaccine for People Aged 65 Years and Over

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Why should people aged 65 years and over get the flu vaccine?

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.  People aged 65 years and over are at higher risk of serious complications from the flu than other healthy adults and are strongly recommended to get immunised against the flu every year.

Getting immunised against the flu helps to protect others in the community including those who are at greater risk of influenza complications, such as young children, the elderly and those with medical conditions.

What vaccine is available for people aged 65 years and over?

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides free influenza vaccine for people aged 65 years and over. In 2020, there is one vaccine for people aged 65 years and over which is only available from General Practitioners (GPs). This is a quadrivalent influenza vaccine called Fluad Quad®. This vaccine covers two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The vaccine has been specifically designed to create a greater immune response amongst the elderly who are known to have a weaker response to immunisation.

When is the best time to get the flu vaccine?

Flu is most common from June until September. The best time to get your vaccine is from mid-April as vaccine protection is greatest for three to four months after receiving the vaccine.

Receiving a second dose later in the season is not recommended as there is no evidence that this is effective or safe.

The current COVID-19 pandemic does not change the recommendation to get the influenza vaccine.  Protection against influenza through immunisation remains important, because, just like COVID-19, influenza can be a serious respiratory disease even in healthy individuals

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28 April 2020