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Fighting Flu Starts with You

A doctor in protective gear (lab coat, mask and hairnet) vaccinating an individual.

April sees the start of the new influenza National Immunisation Program (NIP).   Influenza is a common viral infection that affects people of all ages, and while it can be a mild disease for some, it can also cause serious illness in otherwise healthy people.

The Department of Health & Aged Care recommend that vaccination is the safest way to protect yourself and others from influenza, and that you should have your annual influenza vaccine anytime from this month onwards for you to be protected during the peak flu season (generally June to September) – noting that the highest level of protection occurs in the first three to four months following vaccination.

New season influenza vaccines under the NIP are free to all Australians aged 65 and over, and are expected to be available from mid-April – timing may be different for your local area, so check with your vaccination provider (doctor, local council immunisation clinic, community health centre, Aboriginal Medical Services, or pharmacy) to find out when they will have the NIP vaccines available, and when you will be able to book in to have the vaccine. Find out more by reading the 2024 factsheet on our website here:, or visit the Department of Health and Ageing website:

Remember: If you have any health concerns, whether for yourself or a loved one, and before receiving a vaccination or taking any new medications, always speak to your GP or Primary Healthcare Provider, or chat with a ‘Health Direct’ registered nurse (known as Nurse-On-Call in VIC) on 1800 022 222.

Sources: The Department of Health & Aged Care (Influenza).


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