Influenza Immunisation Program 2023

The flu vaccine is recommended for any person six months of age and over.

As the strains of the flu virus can change from year to year, receiving a flu vaccine every year provides the best protection against getting seriously ill or being hospitalised.

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides free flu vaccinations for those most vulnerable to flu in our community.

Eligibility for the free flu vaccine

In 2023, free flu vaccination is available for the following people who are at greater risk of disease and developing complications if they get flu:

  • children aged six months to less than five years of age
  • pregnant women (any trimester)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • people aged 65 years and over
  • people six months of age or older with certain underlying chronic medical conditions (see below).

Eligible chronic underlying medical conditions include:

  • cardiac disease
  • chronic respiratory conditions, including severe asthma
  • chronic neurological conditions that impact respiratory function, including hereditary and degenerative central nervous system diseases and seizure disorders
  • immunocompromising conditions, including immunocompromised due to disease or treatment
  • diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • renal disease
  • haematological disorders, including haemoglobinopathies
  • children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy who are at increased risk of Reye syndrome following influenza infection.

Adults and children who are experiencing homelessness are eligible to receive free flu vaccines under the state funded program.

Although not funded, the flu vaccine is also strongly recommended for:

  • people who may potentially pass on the flu to those at high risk of complications from flu infection
  • people providing essential services (for example, police and ambulance officers)
  • workers in other industries (corporations wishing to reduce absenteeism in the workforce).

Where to get immunised

To receive the free flu vaccine, contact your doctor, local council, community health centre, Aboriginal health centre or an approved pharmacy.

The vaccines are free for eligible people, however some immunisation providers may charge a consultation or service fee.

Vaccines available

All funded vaccines available for use in Australia for the 2023 influenza season are quadrivalent (four strains - two influenza A and two influenza B) and contain the following strains:

  • A/Sydney/5/2021 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
  • A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus.

These influenza vaccines are available through the 2023 NIP:

  • Vaxigrip Tetra® - for all those from 6 months to 64 years of age
  • Fluarix® Tetra - for all those from 6 months to 64 years of age
  • Afluria® Quad - for those 5 years to 64 years of age
  • Fluad® Quad - for those 65 years of age and over.

How the vaccine is given

Flu vaccine is given as an injection into the thigh if under 12 months of age, and into the top of the arm from 12 months of age.

People with allergies

People with egg allergy, including a history of anaphylaxis, can be safety vaccinated with flu vaccines. You do not have to be vaccinated in a hospital setting. Speak to your immunisation provider about your allergy.

All flu vaccines available in Australia are latex free.

Further information

For further information on the free flu vaccine programs, contact your local doctor or immunisation provider, or read the Annual flu vaccine program - Frequently asked questions (PDF 252KB).