Frequently Asked Questions

Importance of getting your COVID-19 and flu vaccines

Can I get a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes.

With the colder months coming, it is very important to get both your flu vaccination and your COVID-19 vaccine.  The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu this year.  The COVID-19 vaccine is your best protection against COVID-19.

Generally, it is safe to get your flu and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.

However, if you:

• have had COVID-19, you can get your:

  • flu vaccine when you have recovered, and
  • ·next COVID-19 vaccine three months after your infection.

• are sick with the flu, you should wait until you are better again before getting your vaccinations.

Why should I get a flu vaccine this year if I am already getting my COVID-19 vaccines?

The flu and COVID-19 are different viruses.

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

During the COVID-19 period, certain factors may have resulted in low levels of community protection from flu, such as:

• reduced circulation of flu virus in the community, and

• fewer people getting vaccinated against the flu during this time.

Also, with international borders reopening, an increase of flu is expected in 2022, with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus this year.

Are there some groups of people who are more vulnerable to flu?

It is important for all eligible people to get vaccinated against the flu.

There are some people who can be especially vulnerable to flu. These include:

• children aged 6 months to less than 5 years - 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 - Women who are pregnant who get the flu are more than twice as likely to be admitted to hospital.

• older people – particularly those aged 65 and over.

• people with certain medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications. These conditions include:

  • cardiac disease
  • chronic respiratory conditions
  • chronic neurological conditions
  • diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • renal disease
  • haematological disorders
  • children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

 

Vaccine availability and eligibility

Is the flu vaccine now available?

Yes, the flu vaccine is now available.

Who is eligible to get a vaccination?

All people aged 6 months and older are eligible to get a flu vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available for people aged 5 and over.

Are vaccines free?

All COVID-19 vaccines are free.

Flu vaccines are free for people eligible under the National Immunisation Plan (NIP).

The flu vaccine is funded through the NIP for people most at risk.

This includes:

  • adults aged 65 years and over
  • people aged 6 months to less than 5 years
  • pregnant women
  • people aged six months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications:
  • cardiac disease
  • chronic respiratory conditions
  • chronic neurological conditions
  • diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • renal disease
  • haematological disorders
  • children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.

• all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older

There is a cost for the flu vaccine for people who are not eligible for the NIP.

 

Staying safe this winter

What is the best way to stay healthy this winter?

Make sure you arrange your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Practicing good hygiene will also help you stay well this winter and reduce your risk of getting sick.

Good hygiene includes:

  • physical distancing (where possible)
  • good hand hygiene
  • coughing or sneezing into your elbow
  • wearing a mask.

For more on staying healthy this winter, visit the Stay well this winter page on the Better Health Channel website.

Should I get vaccinated if I have the flu or COVID-19?

Do not go and get vaccinated if you currently have COVID-19 or the flu.

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.

If you 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.

 

Booking vaccinations

How can I book my vaccinations?

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

Some Victorian COVID-19 vaccination centres also offer free flu vaccines for people eligible under the NIP.

No booking is required for this service.

For more details, visit the Vaccination centres page on the Vaccination Centres page on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website

 

More information