Getting Your Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines

After two years of closed international borders and staying at home, 2022 is expected to be a bad flu season as Victorians return to normal levels of activity.

Getting your flu shot as soon as possible and ensuring you have your recommended COVID-19 vaccinations will help keep you safe this winter.

Generally, you do not need to wait between getting your flu vaccination and COVID-19 vaccination - you can have them at the same time. Note, if you have had COVID-19 but are no longer sick, you can get your flu shot right away. You should wait three months before getting your next COVID-19 vaccination o are sick with the flu, you should wait until you are better again before getting your vaccinations.

Most people can safely recover from the flu and COVID-19 at home.

Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone older than six months.

Flu vaccination is free for people eligible under the National Immunisation Plan (NIP), which includes people at greater risk from the flu, such as: o children aged 6 months to less than 5 years o Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months and over o pregnant women – at any stage of pregnancy o people aged 65 years old and over o people aged 6 months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe flu and its complications.

People aged 5 and over are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines are free for all.

You can arrange your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations through your doctor or pharmacist.

Some state-run COVID-19 vaccination centres are also offering free flu vaccinations to people eligible under the NIP – this is a convenient way for members of the community to get both vaccines at the same time.  If you have any questions about the COVID-19 or flu vaccines, the best person to speak with is your doctor.

Importance of getting the flu vaccine this year

Over the COVID-19 period, reduced circulation of flu virus and lower levels of flu vaccine coverage compared with previous years may have resulted in low levels of community immunity. With international borders reopening, a resurgence of flu is expected in 2022, with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus this year.

The flu vaccine is recommended each season for all people aged 6 months and over.

The best protection from both infections in 2022 is for the community to receive a flu vaccine and to get the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is particularly important to increase the uptake of flu vaccines in children aged 6 months to less than 5 years who are eligible for a free vaccine under the NIP. Lower vaccine coverage and exposure to flu last year in this age group increases the risk of complications from flu in children who have potentially never been exposed to this virus.

Pregnant women with flu are also more than twice as likely to be admitted to hospital as others with flu.

Where to get a flu and COVID-19 vaccine

You can arrange your COVID-19 and flu vaccines at your local GP or pharmacy.

Some state-run COVID-19 vaccination centres are also offering free flu vaccination to people eligible under the NIP.

For more information, including centre locations, visit the Vaccination centres page on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

More information:

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022

Trusted Health Advice | healthdirect

Influenza (flu) vaccine | Australian Government Department of Health


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