Influenza Guide

Be an advocate for vaccination. People are more likely to get the influenza vaccination if it is recommended by you, the GP.

Immunisation Coalition

About Influenza

Influenza is a potentially fatal disease that is estimated to cause up to 3000 deaths in Australia annually.[1]

Health Professionals have an important role in prompting patients to consider the benefits of influenza vaccination and addressing concerns about efficacy and safety.

This page for health professionals provides useful information about influenza and vaccination, along with tips on how to facilitate influenza vaccination programs in general practice.

Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

It is now mandatory to upload influenza vaccinations administered to the AIR.[2]

Provider Resources for First Nations’ People

First Nations people are more likely to experience severe influenza. The influenza vaccine is available for all first First Nations people under the National Immunisation Program.

New resources are available to help providers talk to First Nations people about influenza vaccinations. Click here to read more.



1Australian Immunisation Handbook

2 Services Australia, Mandatory reporting for COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccinations

Influenza and the NIP

Free influenza vaccine is available under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for people in the following risk groups:

  • Older adults (65+)
  • Children aged between 6 months and less than 5 years old
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 6 months and over with medical conditions that can lead to complications from influenza (such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, chronic neurological disease, renal and metabolic disease, and impaired immunity).[2]

Age, health lifestyle and occupation (HALO) can also put people at high risk of influenza complications. These include:

  • obesity
  • stroke
  • tobacco smoking
  • down syndrome
  • residents of nursing homes and other long term facilities
  • homeless people

For more information about the NIP visit: or contact your state/territory health department:

ACT: (02) 6205 2300
NSW: 1300 066 055
NT: (08) 8922 8044
SA: 1300 232 272
TAS: 1800 671 738
VIC: 1300 882 008
WA: (08) 9321 1312
QLD: Contact your local Public Health Unit

Timing of Vaccinations

Vaccination is encouraged throughout the influenza season. However pregnant women and residents of northern Australia should be offered the vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

The duration of protection for elderly people is shorter, with optimal protection occurring in the first 3 to 4 months after vaccination.

Influenza and Heart Attacks

Evidence from several studies indicates that annual vaccination against seasonal influenza reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with cardiovascular conditions. Studies indicate that the influenza vaccine almost halves the risk of heart attacks in older adults.

GPs who treat individuals with cardiovascular disease can help improve influenza vaccination coverage rates by asking about vaccination status, strongly recommending and providing vaccination to their patients before and throughout the influenza season.

Influenza and COVID-19

COVID-19 and influenza are both serious respiratory infections. It is therefore essential that patients are immunised against influenza at the earliest opportunity, particularly those most at risk.

All COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered with a flu shot.

2023 Influenza vaccines available for use in Australia

Discard 2022 Influenza Vaccine

Remember to discard the prior year’s Influenza Vaccine.

Seasonal influenza vaccines available for use in Australia in 2023, by age:[3]

Age GroupVaxigrip Tetra - 0.5mL (Sanofi)Fluarix Tetra - 0.5mL (GSK)Afluria Quad - 0.5mL (Seqirus)FluQuadri - 0.50mL (Sanofi)Influvac Tetra - 0.5ml (Viatris)Flucelvax Quad - 0.5mL (Seqirus)Fluad Quad - 0.5mL (Seqirus)Fluzone High-Dose Quad
- 0.7mL
6 to 24 Months (<2 Years)✔*✔*
≥2 to <5 Years✔*✔*
≥5 to <60 Years✔**✔**✔**
≥60 to <65 Years✔**✔**✔**
≥65 Years✔*

Ticks indicate age at which a vaccine is registered and available.

* Vaccine is funded under the NIP for eligible people.
** NIP funding only for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pregnant women and people who have certain medial conditions

AIVC recommendations for the composition of influenza vaccine for Australia in 2023

The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) met to recommend the composition of the influenza virus vaccines for 2023. At this meeting, the expert committee reviewed and evaluated epidemiology, antigenic and genetic data of recent influenza isolates circulating in Australia and the southern hemisphere. Serological responses to the 2021-2022 vaccines, and the availability of candidate vaccines viruses and reagents were also reviewed by the Committee.

The committee recommended that the following viruses be included in quadrivalent influenza vaccines for the 2023 southern hemisphere influenza season[4]:

Egg-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines:

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

Cell- or recombinant-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines:

  • an A/Sydney/5/2021 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Darwin/6/2021 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus; and
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus.

The H1N1, H3N2 and B Victoria lineage viruses are recommended for trivalent influenza vaccines for 2023 southern hemisphere season.

Candidate Vaccine Viruses (CVV) recommended for H1N1 and H3N2 may differ for egg- and cell- or recombinant-based vaccines. In some instances, the same virus is not ideal for both production systems. When this is the case, different viruses with similar properties are selected as the prototypes to help timely vaccine production. More information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions– external site factsheet on the World Health Organisation’s website.

The AIVC recommendation for the composition of influenza vaccines for Australia in 2023 differs from the 2022 southern hemisphere and 2022/23 northern hemisphere recommendations. The southern hemisphere 2023 vaccine will contain one new strain for the A(H1N1)pdm09-like virus.

Egg-based Influenza Vaccine across 2 seasons in each hemisphere

2023 Southern Hemisphere2021/22 Northern Hemisphere2022 Southern Hemisphere2020/21 Northern Hemisphere
A/Sydney/5/2021 (H1N1)pdm09A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09
A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)A/Cambodia/e0826360/2020 (H3N2)A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)
B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria)B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria)B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria)B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria)
B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata)B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata)B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata)B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata)

3 ATAGI Advice on Season Influenza Vaccines in 2022: Published 28 February 2023

4 AIVC recommendations for the composition of influenza vaccine for Australia in 2023:

Influenza and Pregnancy

Influenza is a potentially severe disease that can affect mother and baby. It can affect the mother in the second and third trimesters and the baby in the first few months after birth, even causing death.

Read more about influenza vaccination while pregnant here.

Influenza and Children

The influenza vaccination is funded under the NIP for children aged between 6 months and less than 5 years of age for some vaccines. The vaccines available for children under the NIP in this age group are:

  • Vaxigrip Tetra® 0.5ml for those aged 6 months and older
  • Fluarix® Tetra 0.5ml for those aged 6 months and older

Afluria®Quad 0.5ml is available on the NIP for children aged 5 years and over who are either Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders or have underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of severe complications from influenza.

Other vaccines that are registered and available for children in 2023 which are not funded under the NIP are:

  • FluQuadri® 0.5ml (all ages)
  • Influvac®Tetra 0.5ml (all ages)
  • Flucelvax®Quad 0.5ml (from 2 years of age)

Co-administration with other vaccines

Influenza vaccine can be given at the same time as Zostavax® and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines, using separate syringes and injection sites.[5]


5 Adult vaccination: vaccines for Australian adults, NCIRS Fact sheet: 1 July 2020

Enhanced influenza vaccines for older people

There are 2 enhanced influenza vaccines available for older adults in 2022:

  • Fluad®Quad 0.5ml for people aged 65 and over and is funded under the NIP
  • Fluzone®High-Dose Quad 0.7ml for people aged 60 and over which is not funded under the NIP

For people aged 65 and over, Fluad®Quad is preferred over standard influenza vaccines. However, there is no preference between Fluad®Quad and Fluzone®High-Dose Quad.[6]

Page Published: 17 March 2021 | Page Updated: 27 July 2023