Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes. The World Health Organization estimates that seasonal influenza may result in 290 000-650 000 deaths each year.

World Health Organisation: Burden of disease
Because the virus strains that circulate in the community change in most years, so a new vaccine has to be manufactured. The protection given by the influenza vaccination begins to decline after 6-8 months.
In adults, the symptoms of influenza can include:
  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Tiredness/extreme exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
In children, influenza may present as:
  • High fever
  • Listlessness or lack of energy
  • Cough
  • Children can also get diarrhoea and vomiting with influenza infection.

Duration of symptoms - typically 1-2 weeks for influenza, a few days for a cold.

Influenza often produces a high fever, with muscular aches and shivering/

It may take several weeks to fully recover from influenza, even for healthy younger people, and for some people the infection may lead to serious consequences including hospitalisation and death.


The vaccine contains only inactivated viral particles (a virus killed and broken apart) and therefore is incapable of causing influenza infection. People who develop a runny nose or sore throat may have been exposed to another virus before they received the influenza vaccine.

The most common side effects are pain or tenderness around the injection site.

Some people may experience fever, headache or irritability. These symptoms are mild and usually clear up within a few days.


Current evidence is that patients with egg allergy (including anaphylaxis) for whom influenza vaccine is indicated can be vaccinated safely as long as the amount of residual egg ovalbumin is limited to 1ug or less per dose. All vaccines licensed for use in Australia and New Zealand contain less than 1ug egg ovalbumin. Egg allergy does not increase the risk of anaphylaxis to the influenza vaccine but anaphylaxis to other components may occur. Vaccines should always be administered in facilities with staff able to recognise and treat anaphylaxis.

Australasian Society for Clinical Immunology & Allergy (ASCIA)