Seasonal influenza vaccine information

There was an increased incidence of influenza across Queensland over the summer months, due to a mix of virus strains.

While influenza notification rates in the Brisbane North and Moreton Bay region trended downwards in April, it is not possible to predict whether the 'flu season will be earlier or more severe this winter.

Points to remember about influenza vaccination timing are:

  • While protection is generally expected to last for the whole season, optimal protection against influenza occurs within the first three to four months following vaccination.
  • Timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during peak influenza season, which in Brisbane is from June to September.
  • Revaccination later in the same season for individuals who have already received vaccination is not recommended (although not contraindicated). The decision to revaccinate with a second dose should take into account personal risk factors (including travel to the Northern Hemisphere later in 2019), the risk of disease and currently circulating virus strains.
  • Pregnant women can receive the vaccine at any stage during their pregnancy. Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications in individuals and influenza spread in the community.

Vaccination is recommended for all people 6 months of age and older without a contraindication. Groups at high risk are eligible for free vaccine. Stocks of funded trivalent vaccine Fluad® (containing an adjuvant) for people aged 65 and over, and stocks of Afluria Quad® for people aged 5 – 64 years with medical conditions, or pregnancy, predisposing them to severe influenza were delivered to practices in early April. The full range of other nationally-funded flu vaccines became available to order through the Queensland Immunisation Program around mid-April.

To download the seasonal influenza vaccine factsheet visit http://bit.ly/DoH_seasonal-vaccine-info.