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Get The Flu Shot Before The Flu Gets You

What is the flu?

The flu is caused by the influenza virus. There are many different strains and they can change every year.


Flu symptoms include:

  • runny nose or sneezing

  • cough or sore throat

  • fever and chills

  • headache

  • body aches

  • vomiting and diarrhoea (more common in children).

Symptoms usually start about 1 to 3 days after catching the flu and can last for a week or more. Some people can be mildly affected, while others can become seriously ill.

A common cold is not the same as the flu, although some of the symptoms are similar:

runny nose or sneezing

cough or sore throat.

Who is at risk

The flu can affect people of all ages.

People at highest risk of being hospitalised with flu are:

  • babies

  • people more than 65 years old

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

  • pregnant women

  • people with long-term medical conditions

  • people who have weakened immune systems

  • people who are obese

  • people who smoke

  • people who haven’t been vaccinated against the flu.

Long-term medical conditions that can lead to you having a serious case of the flu include:

  • heart disease

  • Down syndrome

  • lung disease

  • conditions of the nervous system (such as multiple sclerosis)

  • liver disease

  • kidney disease

  • diabetes

  • blood diseases

  • metabolic disorders.


Vaccination is the best protection against the flu.

The flu vaccines protect you from getting infected and prevent serious disease. The flu strains constantly change so you need a new vaccine every year to make sure you stay protected.

How to get vaccinated against influenza

Influenza vaccines are given as an injection, usually in the upper arm. It is important to get the right vaccine for your age. Your immunisation provider can tell you which vaccine they will use for you or your child's influenza immunisation.

Influenza vaccines available under the NIP for the 2022 season include:

  • VaxiGrip Tetra

  • Fluarix Tera

  • Afluria Quad

  • Fluad Quad - recommended for people aged 65 years and over

Possible side effects of influenza vaccination

You may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most reactions are mild and last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.

Common side effects of influenza vaccines include:

  • pain, redness, swelling or hardness where the needle went in

  • fever, tiredness, body aches.


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